Monday, December 31, 2007

-- For Allison (Aud Lang Syne)


This is for Allison, my childhood best friend that I lost touch with and only recently learned that she died. I will never forget you. This New Year's eve song applies in more ways than one.

(Translation of) Aud Lang Syne

Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And days of long ago !

Chorus:
For old long ago, my dear
For old long ago,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago.

We two have run about the hillsides
And pulled the daisies fine,
But we have wandered many a weary foot
For old long ago.

We two have paddled (waded) in the stream
From noon until dinner time,
But seas between us broad have roared
Since old long ago.

And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us a hand of yours,
And we will take a goodwill draught (of ale)
For old long ago!

And surely you will pay for your pint,
And surely I will pay for mine!
And we will take a cup of kindness yet
For old long ago!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

-- Just what I always wanted: a million random digits with 100,000 normal deviates (be careful what you wish for)


I can't believe we actually got this for a holiday present. Every year my dad asks for a list and every year I kid around on it. When I was a teen, he could tell b/c my lists would have, interspersed with real items like CDs and books, intangibles like a house/boat/car/etc. -- they were obviously items he and I both knew were a joke.

Well this year we discovered the world's most obscure book so we added it to the list, never thinking they'd even be able to find it let alone buy it. But buy it they did:
"A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates: Not long after research began at RAND in 1946, the need arose for random numbers that could be used to solve problems of various kinds of experimental probability procedures. These applications, called Monte Carlo methods, required a large supply of random digits and normal deviates of high quality, and the tables presented here were produced to meet those requirements."


628 pages of pure numbers listed neatly in columns. We nearly died laughing when we opened it thinking maybe they bought it as a joke but quickly realized they were serious. I love my dad for wanting us to have this. And anyway now we can look up any normal deviate we might possibly need!

Friday, December 28, 2007

-- relief for stiff neck


So I'm still getting over the flu, now I just have a cough. Sometimes it wakes me out of a sleep choking and gasping for air. Last time this happened I propped up about 90 pillows and went back to bed; got up with a stiff neck. Hurt like hell.

Got an app. to see a massage therapist and get the knot worked on -- can I just say I am such a dweeb? I walk in and the therapist is like "have you ever had a massage before?" me (thinking back to the dude in the Edison mall who chopped at my back for 15 minutes) "um yeah but it was a while ago." "Ok" she says brightly, "you can lie here after you take off your clothes."

Um?

I oblige hesitatingly and crawl into the sheets feeling self-conscious. That melts away once she grabs at that knot and starts disassembling it. OMG, it felt so good to have some relief.

So anyway, massage is cool. You should get one.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

-- recapping the last few months


My last few months in a nutshell:

- Dr. tells me I might need brain surgery, I prepare to die.

- A month later it's confirmed I'm ok, no brain surgery needed. Breathe deep sigh of relief.

- Sarah dies and I am just utterly incapable of dealing with loss.

- I stay up until 4:30am working on freelance project and become incredibly sleep-deprived and stressed out.

- Catch flu.

- Look for best childhood friend on Internet and find her gravestone.

- Spin into images of Allison young and happy, playing the "now" game ("just think right now I don't know what will happen in 5 minutes!"). Realize with deep sadness that as 8 yr olds we didn't know she would die too young.

- Cry. a lot.

Am finally feeling better but man, these past few months really taxed me.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

-- So myspace really *does* check their new submissions


A friend of mine emailed me her myspace page a few days ago, but I can't view it b/c I'm not a member. I am so SICK of websites requiring me to join. Not another one! Not another darned password to remember! Still, I wanted to see her pictures so I figured FINE. I will set up a fake account, just for this purpose.

20 minutes later, Mr. Horace Microopthalmia is beaming out at me from behind his wheelbarrow-carrying self. Tho I scooped the pic up from somewhere on the internet, I did at least photoshop it and rub out the face out of respect for the original guy. No harm done and I had a laugh. Myspace didn't win!

Well I go to login the next day to view updates and guess what -- the whole thing had been deleted. Frak! My disappointment lasted 0.02 seconds and then I thought oh well, there goes 20 minutes of my life. (But I will not be setting up a real account.)

Here is my memorial to Mr. Microopthalmia. Your 20 minutes of fame served you well.
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