Random (but not really)

Monday, February 28, 2005

Cough Cough Sniffle

I seem to have come down with a cold. (Not a surprise, considering where I work.)

I’m going home soon to curl up on the sofa with hot tea and a good book. So don’t be expecting anything profound until my head clears.

Written by Michelle at 8:11 am      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Freedom and Necessity

Freedom & Necessity (1997) Steven Brust and Emma Bull

Delving back into Brust section of my bookshelves, I came back with Freedom and Necessity, a book that I remember as complicated, although good. And since I remembered nothing of the plot, I figured it was a good candidate for re-reading.

I have to admit that as much as I like this novel, reading it makes me feel stupid.

Read more about Freedom & Necessity

Written by Michelle at 7:09 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Friday, February 25, 2005

Death Comes as the End

I found out today that someone I graduated from high school with died earlier this month.

I had only 42 people in my graduating class. It was a Catholic high school and we were the next to last graduating class. Mismanagement is probably the primary reason the school closed, at least that’s how it felt at the time.

I hated high school—I’d even go so far as to say I despised it. I was painfully geeky, and brought down upon myself all the teasing that being smart and ugly brought you in high school.

My class has not held a class reunion, despite the fact that it’s been almost 17 years since graduation, and I’m not sure if I’d want to go if there was a reunion. Maybe things would be different after all this time, but the idea of seeing some of my classmates again gives me a sick to my stomach feeling—as if all the intervening years had dropped away to make me who I was then, instead of who I am now.

And today I find out that Amy has died, and it brings the realization that despite there being so few of us, there are those I graduated with that I hardly knew. I pulled out my yearbook when I got home. Found what she’d written to me. “I don’t really know you, but you seem like a nice girl…”

It doesn’t make me feel bitter, as much as it makes me feel sad and small. Sad, because I never knew her, and now never will. Small, because part of me still doesn’t want to know my former classmates. Small, because I fear that I’ll have turned out to be just as pathetic as they expected.

Oddly enough, the mortality part of it doesn’t bother me as much as I’d have thought it would. I’ve made huge changes in my life in past years—quitting smoking, reducing my drinking, increasing my exercise—all in theory to improve my health and extend my life. Except that for the most part it’s the short term benefits of those acts that have been important, not the long. Smoking seemed to exacerbate colds, exercise makes me feel better physically and mentally, and the drinking went out the door with the smoking.

In my gerontology class several semesters ago, we were supposed to tell the class how we imagined our old age. I, like several others in my class, can’t imagine my old age. Such a thing is almost surreal to me, like the idea of interstellar travel. I have no idea that tomorrow will bring, so it makes little sense to worry about things even further down the road. (Despite that I still set aside extra money into my retirement fund each paycheck. I may be blind to the future, but I’m not foolish.)

I was told that Amy left behind three children, at least one of whom will never really know their mother, and that does sadden me. Somehow, those children and their loss seem far more real to me than their mother.

And that too is sad.

Written by Michelle at 7:07 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Designing

In my on-going effort to learn more about CSS, I’ve redesigned the main page of my site.

I’ll probably be redesigning other pages in the site over the next several weeks, but you have to start somewhere.

Written by Michelle at 4:10 pm      Comments (5)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pull the Lever…

…All the Other Rats are Doing It

Quiz Time!

Interesting that I’m as likely to become Republican as I am Nazi.
(more…)

Written by Michelle at 8:10 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Stupid Computers

There’s nothing like trying to learn something by yourself to make you feel like an absolute idiot.

And so as a reprieve from idiocy….

The Infinite Cat Project: Cats, looking at cats, looking at cats…

The Treason Trial of Aaron Burr. I have to admit that everytime I hear the name Aaron Burr, I immediately think of the milk commercial. (clip available here if you scroll down.)

And the bird flu, an on-again off-again threat since ’97, is once again garnering attention and worry. Is the world prepared for a flu pandemic? Probably not. But then if we can ignore genocide, we can probably ignore almost anything.

Written by Michelle at 5:16 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Non-Sequiturs  

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

More Reasons to Love Science

First, science is fun.
Second, because of places like this.

Written by Michelle at 3:23 pm      Comments (3)  Permalink
Categories: Science, Health & Nature  

Monday, February 21, 2005

Today

Happy Birthday Erin!

Written by Michelle at 6:23 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Phoenix Guards & Five Hundred Years After

The Phoenix Guards (1991) & Five Hundred Years After (1994) Steven Brust

Sometimes you just need to read a book that you know is going to make you happy. When those times come upon me, I frequently read Steven Brust.

The Phoenix Guards and Five Hundred Years After are two of the ‘Khaavren Romances’ centered around Khaavren the Tiassa, and written in the style of Alexandre Dumas.

(S)omeone once asked, in all seriousness, which was the best translation of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers into English. The two fastest answers she got were “Learn French, as nobody’s managed to make a translation that’s half as good as the original”, and “The Phoenix Guards.”

Read More about Steven Brust’s The Phoenix Guards & Five Hundred Years After

Written by Michelle at 9:19 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Grrrr….

$#&$&@ stinkin’ spammers…

Due to the high amount of comment spam I’ve been getting, and the fact that Blacklist doesn’t seem to be working, currently comments require approval before they’ll appear.

Sorry.

So go ahead and comment, it’ll just take a few hours for the comment to appear. At least until the volumn of comment spam drops, or I get MT blacklist to work.

ADDENDUM the First: Latest version of MT installed…

ADDENDUM the Second: Latest version of Blacklist installed. Comments have now been set to previous status. Cross your fingers….

Written by Michelle at 10:18 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  
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