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on the nature of art and cultural influence

Days and days of coding and straight up comp sci... And my brain is taking it out on me by inserting philosophical commentary.
Won't shut up about socioeconomics, post-modernism, the values people place on art, etc.

How long has it been since I wrote an essay I actually cared about and appreciated? Has it been over a year?

Distraction Remedy Plan: Take 5 minutes to sketch out topics for further discussion, which will be my reward upon finishing the SubstitutionVisitor interface I need to code this week.
On the value of art.Collapse )
Meta-level questions about my thought processes.Collapse )

A summary of some areas of influence.Collapse )

Okay, eek. That was more than eight minutes. Back to code. Hopefully getting this out of my system will help me be productive, eh?

a dark and bloody slumber

I'm working from home this afternoon, 'cause this morning there was no one else from my project in the lab, and two guys from another project kept arguing loudly in two different dialects of broken English. It was pretty distracting.

More distracting, however, are the memories of last night's gruesome dreams. I'll cut because the images are graphic and grotesque.

dark and bloody slumberCollapse )

And those images can be hard to shake. Maybe music will shake me out of this.


Lovely spam, wonderful spaaaam!

It's a crazy jumble, like an experiment to see whether the computational linguistic analysis can figure out what makes sense as a paragraph.
It's the clutter of the Sibyl, scribbled on leaves, scattered to the winds.
Will you catch the message that is meant for you, or is that fateful frond your neighbor's?
Will you catch a virus from the file?
Will that imbedded image paint a portrait of your doooooom? Your computer's doom?
Are these words just here to amuse?
Are they somehow more prophetic, containing glimmers, as they go, of current events?

Is it like the Ern Malley affair, a case of accidental meaning?

I might not suggest reading all of them. The last is fairly funny.

spam: glade prideCollapse )

spam: inconceivableCollapse )

spam: sift/diplomaCollapse )

spam: another roadside suicideCollapse )

spam: imageCollapse )

spam: I couldn't blog without itCollapse )

This one reads a bit like modernist robopoetry:
spam: ranching berth / tigerCollapse )

briefCollapse )

perhaps the best spam: anguish gloomyCollapse )


awash in emails

I pause in my afternoon of labor for a moment of maniac laughter.
OH HECKO. (tee hee haa ha ha hee hee hee)

"Haven't you been getting the cvs update emails?"
"The what now?"

I was told about fenris. I was told about loki. When first noting that email was going wonky in a different way, I was also told about dodo.  Later, I was told about the cvs repository thing called styx and aliased as adelie.
Apparently that other comp sci server, the one internal to this lab I work for, is also an additional handler of emails, aside from the other existing ones. So, though I'd set up mail forwarding on the others, I hadn't done so for this additional server, which apparently also handles the repository.

Result: 129 emails sitting on the adelie server. 
... And forwarding them to Gmail means they all appear to be from my account, so there's no distinguishing the ones from Tim (grad student),  the ones from Eliot (prof), and the automatically generated ones.

"...Oh lordy."


It's the middle of the night.
I just finished making some granola. Mmm, mmm.
Tomorrow I may endeavor to make yogurt.
Am I a hippie yet?
I was going to make challah, but there aren't any baking pans or cookie sheets. I'll borrow equipment tomorrow.

Now that I have granola, I can eat it with frozen blueberries and maybe some of the hypothetical yogurt (it's a new flavor).

I haven't seen the roommates in a while. I was gone last night (I stayed in Northampton with friends after going to a Lindy and Swing dance at the Apollo Grill), and today they haven't been around. Maybe they have gone to the home of the friend from whom they are acquiring a kitten. Or is it next week that the kitten will arrive? Either way, there will be a kitten in the home. I hope he gets along with the plants.

Ah ha! Now we are speaking of plants!
I am raising some peas; this, in turn, raises some questions.Peas!Collapse )

Questions on another topic revolve around fung shui and a furniture conundrum:
Furniture?!Collapse )Meanwhile, I'll try out my room in its new configuration.

And with that, it is time to head to sleep. Perhaps I'll give the non-loft bed a go. After all, it has been an eventful day of adventures:
Adventures!Collapse )

Now, sleeping, with the hiss of granola fresh in my mind.



Friday and Saturday

At work I continued reading through research papers, then had lengthy meetings in which I tried very hard not to zone out of listening to a professor ramble on at high speed while writing complex syntax on the board, remaining inconsistent with his parenthetic usage.
It is still not clear whether I will be writing formulae to feed into programs, or writing programs into which we will feed formulae, or writing programs that will generate the formulae to feed into other programs.  I suspect it might be the last option.  At any rate, at least I know how the section I'm involved with relates to the CoGenT project as a whole.

Afterwards: Joe helped drive stuff over from Smith campus and Matt's apartment.  He sat for a while as we chatted with my apartment mates, Salma and Kaustubh, who are both from India.  I will learn some exciting cooking techniques. By the end of the summer, I will be qualified as an Indian food authenticity snob.

Joe left around 7. Within the next 3 hours, I was completely unpacked, with everything stowed in kitchen cabinets, or folded and placed in the closet. I was exhausted by 9 or so, but finished out the job. At some point after finishing, I sprawled on my bed to read some Steinbeck and wound up just falling asleep. It was probably only around 10 or 10:30.  Result: I woke up pretty early on Saturday.

       Got up around 8, I think. Spent a good part of the morning talking with Kaus about his undergraduate experience back in Bombay.  He and I walked to a small store, where I acquired butter, eggs, bread, and milk.  We're planning some plant endeavors; I started soaking some pea seeds and showed Salma the collection of seeds I'd brought. The roommates realized I hadn't eaten much in the way of  dinner or breakfast, so insisted on feeding me lentils before I set off to collect my potted plants from Ian. While there, I was fed cheese and some Swedish flat bread. So far it was a day for being fed.
      Returning to the apartment, I went to get some tea I'd been chilling in the refrigerator, and found that my milk gallon had a small leak that had spread milk over the bottom shelf, dripping into the crisper drawers.  I had to store the remaining milk in a collection of mugs and bowls, and set about washing the items and shelves the spill had reached.
       In cleaning, I had to discard a soggy cardboard box, because spilled milk will sour. The box had housed most of a case of beer, which the prior tenants had left behind, perhaps as a housewarming gift.  The thing is, Salma doesn't drink. Kaus barely drinks. I certainly don't drink. On top of that, this alcohol is not so likely to vanish. There are twenty-one cans. And it's Bud light. Dad suggested that the best plan for that kind of thing is to dump it.  Someone else suggested leaving it outdoors somewhere in Puffton, where it will likely vanish overnight. I remain open to suggestions on this count.
       That adventure over, I wanted to go shop for food, but hadn't time. I needed to meet a bus to Northampton so I could get to the pharmacy before closing. Anyhow, I found some mountain laurel, sat around UMass, and wound up riding with Joe, who gets to Northampton very early on nights when he helps GM the Requiem LARP. We both wound up invited to Matt's for curry. Mmm, delicious. Matt wins at curry preparation, it seems. And it was still a day for other people to be feeding me, it seems.
      Then there was LARP, to which I had Zack (the Airplane-met Physicist) to visit. He got the laurel flowers, in honor of graduation. Then there was game mischief. Wonderful scandals. I also got to talk some with Kayleigh, also in the area for the summer. We'll have to make plans. I'll also have to find Mio sometime. The traditional diner visit followed, at which time I was in a seat completely hedged in by menfolk. Egads, so different from Smith!
        Back at the apartment, I discovered the presence of an internet. This will prove useful.


The soil will have us!

For now, I'm heading back to reading about Taoism, and then it's off to sleep.  The messages of Taoism:

Don't try to be what you're not.
Know your limitations, and try to work with them or transform them rather than making futile attempts to cut them out entirely.
Don't try too hard.
Just be yourself and enjoy what is around you.

This sounds like Epicureanism (in the original sense of the word).  Also reminds me of the song Gaudeamus Igitur.

Here is my translation:

Gaudeamus igitur                             Let us rejoice, therefore,
juvenes dum sumus                          while we are younguns.
gaudeamus igitur
juvenes dum sumus
Post jucundam juventutem              After merry youth,
post molestam senectutem              after bothersome old age,
nos habebit humus,                          the soil will have us,
nos habebit humus.                        the soil will have us.

Ubi sunt qui ante nos                      Where are those who before us
In mundo fuere?                            were in the world ?
Vadite ad superos                         Rush to the heavens,
Transite in inferos                        go across into the infernos (hell),
Hos si vis videre.                           if you wish to see them.

Vivat academia                           Long live academy!
Vivant professores                      Long live the profs!
Vivat membrum quodlibet        Long live each (male) member [of the academy]         (i.e. each male student) !
Vivat membra quaelibet            Long live each female student!
Semper sint in flore.                   May they always be in bloom.

Morbid, eh?

twice down the road, but differently

Mischief the first:
Wandering out in the crazy spotted dress
into the pressure before the storm
with a red chair on my head
and a banana rubber-banded to the chair
and some loud Motown on my voice
to leave the banana sitting on a porch and waiting for friends and a new home for the chair.

Mischief the second:
Wandering out in lips that match my shirt
into the damp after the storm
with pigtail tufts on my head
and a collection of Equipment
and some lyric-jumbled Dylan on my voice
to leave some cheer for stressed student creatures and seek adventure thereafter.

frozen peas
frozen brussel sprouts
more frozen peas
freeze pops
Leatherman multi-tool
playing cards, ace through ten
On The Road
The Tao of Pooh
colored pencils
mp3 device
nail clippers
rubber bands

Sounds like an adventure recipe.
Mandolin found a home for the summer, so she won't die of damp heat in the humid attic, and so a mandolin enthusiast, Other-Matt, will be equipped to self-educate.
Frozen items vacated the Washburn freezer in the grand May diaspora.

There was nowhere particular to take my peripatetics. Joining Emma and Other-Matt in their venture to a bar? Nope, underage. Surprise! Also not such a fan of the alcohol smells. Why is there nowhere else for the near-midnight lurkabouts to pause in wandering?

And why is the world in such a state that it would be deemed unwise for a woman, solitary, to pace the night-quiet bike trails, whose pacers dwindle in the small hours?