Posts tagged with "trivial" - Faerye Net 2011-05-25T21:48:27+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Anecdonutal 2011-05-25T21:48:27+00:00 2011-05-25T21:48:35+00:00 <p>In Chicago O&#8217;Hare International Airport, Ryan tried to attract my attention to a question of logistics. I could not answer, I was entranced by a pink box passing near me.</p> <p>&#8220;Look, it&#8217;s a box of <em>home</em>!&#8221; I said.</p> <p>&#8220;What?&#8221;</p> <p>&ldquo;That girl had a <a href="" target="links">Voodoo Doughnut</a> box!&rdquo;</p> <p>&#8220;<em>Why didn&#8217;t you knock her down so I could take them?</em>&#8221; Ryan said.</p> <p>&#8220;You&#8217;re way bigger than me, why shouldn&#8217;t <em>you</em> knock people down in this scenario?&#8221;</p> <p><em>&#8220;<strong>So I can have the donuts!</strong>&#8221;</em></p> Observation of the day 2011-05-11T21:35:50+00:00 2011-05-11T21:35:50+00:00 <p><a href="">I like to observe things.</a></p> <p>Today&#8217;s catch: A twenty-something white man in Buddy Holly glasses with a hot pink skateboard strapped to his backpack. He was practicing the moonwalk at a bus stop in the rain.</p> Busy bees 2011-04-03T08:54:43+00:00 2011-04-03T08:54:55+00:00 <p>This is just a note to explain my sudden transition from prolixity to paucity here on the blog: we have found out we need to find a new rental house sooner than expected. With all manner of business coming up, and the <a href="" target="links">Nebulas besides</a>, we&#8217;ve been very focused on getting this dealt with as soon as possible. And we&#8217;ve been successful! We signed a lease on a new house and will be moving this week. Quite the whirlwind.</p> <p>I hope to be back here bending your ear with more unsolicited advice and rambling musings soon enough.</p> These are a few of my favorite words, Part XVII 2011-03-01T11:43:09+00:00 2011-09-22T16:19:25+00:00 <p>In the course of <a href="" target="links">bearding the beast of biographical blurb</a> yesterday, I found myself using the verb &#8220;to noodle&#8221;. I used it to describe the way I wrote before I buckled down and got serious. I love this word. To me, noodling is joyous, experimental, and yet also careless. It lacks vigor, but its aimlessness gives it a chance for serendipity, for discovery. The word, with its associations of limp pasta and long strings of wiggly spaghetti, is perfect. But I wondered &#8212; was this a word I could expect everyone to know? As I&#8217;ve previously mentioned, the <a href="" target="links">family dialect of the Shoulders</a> is not always comprehensible to the bystander, and I could even trace the lineage of my fondness of &#8220;to noodle&#8221; to my dad, that inveterate word-bender. I consulted the <em><a href="" target="links"><span class="caps">OED</span></a></em>.</p> <p>The verb &#8220;noodle&#8221;, it transpires, has any number of meanings, including the English regional &#8220;To fool around, to waste time&#8221; and the Australian &#8220;To search (an opal dump or ‘mullock’) for opals&#8221;. In the Southern US, it can refer to a low-tech method of catching turtles and fish. Finally, however, the fifth entry yielded what I sought:</p> <blockquote><strong>noodle, <em>v.5</em></strong>: <strong>1.</strong> <em>trans.</em> and <em>intr.</em> Chiefly <em>Jazz</em>. To play or sing (a piece of music) in a tentative, playful, or improvisatory way; (also) to play an elaborate or decorative series of notes. Also <em>fig.</em><br /> <br /> <strong>2.</strong> <em>U.S. colloq.</em><br /> <strong>a.</strong> <em>intr.</em> To think, esp. to reflect or muse in an unproductive or undirected way; to act light-heartedly (also with <em>about, around</em>); (<em>also</em>) to experiment in an informal, tentative manner.<br /> <strong>b.</strong> <em>trans. <strong>to noodle out</strong></em>: to figure out, work out; to devise. <em><strong>to noodle up</strong></em>: to think up (<em>rare</em>).<br /> <strong>c.</strong> <em>trans.</em> To mull over; to think about, ponder. Also with <em>around</em>.</blockquote> <p>How fabulous that this meaning seems to arise from the musical usage! One of the reasons I love the <em><span class="caps">OED</span></em> is that it includes such a wealth of etymology and reference. This is the stuff a word carries around with it. It carries its own history and <span class="caps">DNA</span>, which may register on a reader&#8217;s brain along with the individual connections and memories that that reader carries in his own personal lexicon.</p> <p>How lovely it is to noodle, to be limp and squiggly as cooked spaghetti, adventurous and light-hearted as a jazz clarinetist, free to wander using only (if you&#8217;ll forgive me) the power of your <a href="" target="links">noodle</a>!</p> Life stories 2011-02-28T15:01:29+00:00 2011-02-28T15:02:40+00:00 <p>I hate writing biographical statements for myself. It makes me feel almost as clueless and awkward as writing business letters. I feel like I&#8217;m wearing some sort of Victorian costume, a very formal cage: who is this person? And can she move in any natural fashion?</p> <p>Ah yes, &#8220;she&#8221;. Most bios are in the third person, so some of the odd formality comes from stating your life&#8217;s facts and achievements from a false seat somewhere over your left shoulder. &#8220;Felicity Shoulders was born within sight of Mt. St. Helens, nine months to the day after its eruption,&#8221; I write. &#8220;Felicity Shoulders lives in the wooded hills of Portland, Oregon, with an engineer, a cat, and more computers than she can count.&#8221; Somehow it feels as if the narrator from <em>Am&eacute;lie</em> is trying to sum me up and finding my life insufficiently whimsical. &#8220;Felicity Shoulders pourrait &ecirc;tre un peu plus interessante.&#8221;</p> <p>However, bio-blurb I must, and so I&#8217;ve worked at it, on the theory that practice should improve the muscle. I think it has. I&#8217;d estimate that when I write a new bio now, I feel only 20% the desire to writhe out of my own skin from embarrassment that used to strike me. Of course, being able to write toward the words <a href="" target="links">&#8220;nominated for a Nebula&#8221;</a> helps. My skin does have some advantages, after all.</p> <p>But now, as a consequence of that happy pair of n-words, I have to write a new blurb, and the first person is specified (hooray for specificity!) The first person should be natural. No invisible floating perspective, no avuncular French voice. Just me, telling you about how I and my little story got here. And somehow, now, that feels almost as bad. I can&#8217;t sum anything up. I can&#8217;t tell you who I am or why you should care. When I find a potentially fruitful track, I find myself wandering down it far too long, until I&#8217;ve spent all my allotted words just telling you about reading my dad&#8217;s Science Fiction Book Club hardbacks as I grew up. Even in my own skin, it seems, I lack an overarching perspective.</p> Outstanding. Now all we need is a deck of cards... 2011-02-20T14:37:15+00:00 2012-05-09T23:45:13+00:00 <p>And a <a href="" target="links">brass plaque that reads &#8220;Chekhov&#8217;s Gun&#8221;</a>! I received many fabulous birthday presents for my thirtieth birthday, but none so geeky, and nearly none so unexpected, as this replica pulse rifle from <em>Aliens</em>:</p> <center><a href="" title="M41A Pulse Rifle by Felicity Shoulders, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="374" alt="M41A Pulse Rifle" border="0" /></a></center> <p><a href="" target="links">Ryan</a> got this for me without even knowing that I&#8217;ve been coveting it since age 17. He said he was afraid I would be less excited about having it around than he was. I think once he caught me petting it, that fear was dispelled!</p> Top Ten Favorite Fictional Ships 2010-12-26T13:38:04+00:00 2010-12-26T13:38:21+00:00 <p>Because I recently named a vehicle, this <em>burning question</em> has been on my mind. (Wikipedia links contain spoilers, natch.) List subject to change without notice if I remember any more awesome vessels!</p> <ol> <li><strong>The Millennium Falcon</strong> &#8211; &#8220;I got your promise: not a scratch?&#8221;</li> <li><strong><span class="caps">USS</span> Enterprise-D</strong> &#8211; Icon of my formative years. I still physically wince when I watch <a href="" target="links">&#8220;Cause and Effect&#8221;</a>. Or <a href="" target="links"><em>Generations</em></a>, but please, who doesn&#8217;t?</li> <li><strong>Serenity</strong> &#8211; My favorite episode is <a href="" target="links">&#8220;Out of Gas&#8221;</a>.</li> <li><strong>(<span class="caps">SSV</span>) Normandy</strong> &#8211; Hey, <a href="" target="links">giving me a ship</a> is a good way to engage my affections. If you have a yacht on hand, I invite you to check if this works for non-fictional craft!</li> <li><b><span class="caps">HMS</span> Surprise </b>- Yes, I know there are real <span class="caps">HMS</span> <em>Surprise</em>s. But none of them have Jack Aubrey&#8217;s initials carved into the cap of the masthead, which <a href="" target="links">this one</a> does.</li> <li><strong><span class="caps">USS</span> Enterprise (-A)</strong> &#8211; It is a classic, I&#8217;ll admit.</li> <li><strong>The Dawn Treader</strong></li> <li><strong>The White Star</strong> &#8211; Despite the <a href="" target="links">dilution effect</a>.</li> <li><strong><span class="caps">USS</span> Defiant</strong> &#8211; It looks like an anteater, but then, my high school mascot was an aardvark.</li> <li><strong>Johnny Dooit&#8217;s sand-boat</strong> &#8211; From <em><a href="" target="links">The Road to Oz</a></em>. If anyone reading didn&#8217;t need to be told, then I salute you!</li> </ol> Robot Christmas 2010-12-25T14:04:43+00:00 2010-12-25T14:05:04+00:00 <p>Our household has taken a bold leap into the future: <a href="" target="links">Ryan</a> got me a <a href="" target="links">Roomba</a> for Christmas. While I insist I&#8217;m not sure I&#8217;m ready for the ethical conundrums of robot ownership, I also admit that those questions don&#8217;t really apply to a vacuum whose intellectual capacity is less than that of a <a href="" target="links">mouse droid</a>.</p> <p>A much greater quandary attends the gift Ryan received from <a href="" target="links">his mom</a>, an <a href="" target="links">aerial drone</a> you control with your iPhone. I maintain that this is patently <em>not</em> a robot, because it&#8217;s not autonomous. However, I was soon contradicted by the drone starting and taking off by itself when Ryan switched away from the control app. I am now convinced we&#8217;ve invited a primitive <a href="" target="links">agent of Skynet</a> into our home.</p> <p>I hope the Roomba is on our side.</p> Thanksgivering 2010-11-29T13:35:34+00:00 2010-11-29T13:35:49+00:00 <p>I only made four pies this year! I am such a slacker. Although I note that since we had our Thanksgiving gathering on Saturday rather than Thursday, my not posting the pie pics prior should not be proposed as part and parcel of my procrastination.</p> <center><a href="" title="Felicity's maple custard pie by Ryan Grove, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="346" alt="Felicity's maple custard pie" /></a><br /> <em>Maple Custard Pie, photographed by <a href="">Ryan</a>. Pumpkin in background. Pecan lurks.</em></center> <p>As ever, the maple custard pie comes to us via Ken Haedrich&#8217;s <a href=" pie" target="links"><em>Pie: 300 Tried-And-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade Pie</em></a>. Long may it reign!</p> Alarums 2010-11-11T13:41:40+00:00 2010-11-11T13:42:46+00:00 <p>At 6-something this morning, I surfaced from sleep, confused and still dripping with dreams. I didn&#8217;t know why. Oh. A sharp meeping sound. After a few repetitions and some heavy thinking had convinced me that this noise had nothing to do with my dream, or the <span class="caps">RPG</span> character I was thinking about before I fell asleep, I decided it must be a very small fire, a very mild case of CO poisoning, or an alarm low on battery. Sleepy and probably hilarious information-gathering steps led me to the final conclusion.</p> <p>The alarm in question was in my room. Of course. I lugged a folding chair in and studied the cream-on-cream instructions. I pressed to silence. One ear-bloodying meep. Then, after the interval precisely calculated to give you a few seconds of sweet hope, another meep. I pressed to silence again. Three attacks, then one more, then silence. I had a feeling my travails were not over, but I was also very sleepy and my feet were very cold. I <a href="" target="links">tweeted my woes</a> and returned to sleep. At 8:14, of course, <span class="caps">MEEP</span>.</p> <p><span class="caps">MEEP</span>.</p> <p>Now, I am almost certain that I&#8217;ve blogged about smoke alarms meeping at midnight before, because two houses ago we had a perfect epidemic. But searches are not availing me, so we&#8217;ll all have to settle for <em>d&eacute;ja-lu</em>. At any rate, I could clearly see the path I was beginning: too sleepy to solve the problem, I would postpone it, like the devil&#8217;s snooze button, until it woke me again, and again. I would never feel rested, so I would never wake up fully, never end my night&#8217;s sleep, never be free of the <span class="caps">MEEP</span>.</p> <p>So I carefully bestirred myself, carried the chair back in, took the alarm off the wall, carried it downstairs, put on slippers, cautiously opened the cabinet from which it takes 15 minutes to roust a cat (I thought I heard Qubit behind me, but the <span class="caps">MEEP</span> lacerated her ears and sent her running), opened my big trunk o&#8217; games, silenced the alarm, put it in, closed up, went back upstairs, replaced the chair, heard a desolate moaning, located Qubit to make sure she wasn&#8217;t trapped (she was just scared of the <span class="caps">MEEP</span>), petted her into complacency, and went back to bed.</p> <p>Only then did I check twitter for commiseration, and found out that <a href="" target="links">Ryan has 9V batteries</a>. Sigh.</p>