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(no subject) [Oct. 21st, 2014|04:07 pm]

There's some part of my brain that keeps forgetting that I live in the future and can buy things from the internet.

The pants I have are wearing out; I should buy some more pants. I tried going to Uniqlo, (who are really good for cheap plain T-shirts) but the pants they have that waist-and-length fit me still seem mysteriously too tight everywhere else and have pockets that are too small. "Well", says K, with stupefying sensibleness, "why don't you look up on the internet the kind of pants you have now and just buy more of them?". Uh, yes, why am I not doing exactly that. But then I did, and now, like three days later, I have two shiny new pairs of Levi's 559 30W 32L, and of course they fit just like I want them to.
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(no subject) [Oct. 19th, 2014|07:18 pm]

Nerd alert: esperanto things.

There's a poem I rather like, and it goes

Aliaj lipoj flustros vin
Pri amo kaj fidel';
Aliaj langoj nomos vin
Reĝino kaj anĝel':
Sed eble, dum aŭskultos vi
Penseto trudos sin
Pri l' nuna hor', jam longe for
Kaj vi memoros min.

[Literal translation:]
Other lips may whisper to you
About love and faithfulness
Other tongues may name you
"queen" and "angel"
But possibly, while you listen
A tiny thought will impose itself
Of the present hour, already far distant
And you will remember me

It's not even really the meaning of the words so much as the rhyme and meter and syntactic parallelism that feel so natural and simple and perfect to me. Although, for a verse about being remembered, I realized I didn't know who wrote it. The poem itself just stuck in my brain for years and years, and I couldn't even remember where I'd gotten it from. I'd occasionally look for it on the internet, but never found much useful. I remember there used to be a geocities page whose text, apart from the poem, was in Farsi, so it wasn't much good to me.

But! During my recent exhaustive paper journal indexing slog I came across a reference to it in volume 22 page 79, somewhere in mid-2002, which pinned it down as occurring in J. F. Conroy's "Esperanto por Komencantoj", a book that I'd owned then, but was since lost to a mold infestation in my mom's house.

I checked the NYPL system, and they did have a copy --- in storage. So I waited for it to be delivered, and finally went over today, hoping to finally put to rest the mystery of who wrote it. I went to the desk and told them I had an off-site request I was expecting in today... and was told no, there's nothing that comes up for your library card number, sorry. Tried another library employee and somehow she magically determined that yes, there was something for me, and here you go.

Ok, now, finally, put-to-rest-mystery time, yes? I skim through the 350 pages of the book, (it doesn't have an index, oof) looking for the poem. No good. I find a cheesy translation of "Oh my darlin' Clementine" and of course "La Espero" but no "Aliaj Lipoj".

I go through the whole book more slowly, backwards from the end, still nothing.

Was I confused and/or wrong in 2002 when I said I'd got it from this book? Was it a different edition? Were a pair of pages stuck together?

A third time through the book, slower still, nearly at the end, on page 329, I spot a slightly unusually formatted block of italic text, which somehow my eyes weren't expecting to see. Aliaj lipoj flustros vin... Got you!

And above it, at last, I see a descriptive blurb...

It's a poem Conroy found on page 238 of Montagu C. Butler's "Step by Step in Esperanto"... listed as "Unattributed". D'oh!

And indeed I can even find a pdf of that book and it's sitting there as "section 1068", tute sola, without any explanation or attribution at all.

It seems to appear in a 1926 book "Kantaro Esperanta" also compiled by Butler... so... Idunno. Maybe the dude wrote it himself.

Hmm, NYPL does have a Himnaro Esperanta by Butler from 1921. Could be so fortunate that this is essentially the same book but which changed title during some revision? If not, worldcat tells me the Kantaro exists in the university of chicago library system. Hmmmm I wonder if they have any sort of inter-library loan dealie with the CPL and whether my sisters have a library card...
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(no subject) [Oct. 19th, 2014|10:22 am]
[Tags|] is just the sort of great, simple-concept game I wish I'd thought of.
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(no subject) [Oct. 18th, 2014|04:08 pm]

Did a javascript rehash of some old thing I was thinking about like six years ago about "fair" averages of point sets in euclidean spaces that's more or less invariant to duplication of points.

Click and drag on points to move the points around.
Shift-click and drag to duplicate.
Control-click to delete.

Source and more explanation:
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(no subject) [Oct. 17th, 2014|04:01 pm]

Had some dinner at Cubana.
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(no subject) [Oct. 16th, 2014|07:32 pm]

Aw jesus christ there's a mouse in my apartment.

I thought I'd gotten enough Authentic New York Apartment Experience by spotting a 2am cockroach every four months or so, but I guess not.

Get this: it's broad daylight, I have a plastic clampy mousetrap all laid out with delicious aged cheddar. I hear whiskering, nibbling noises. Mouse is probing the cheese. Is clearly not mouse's first time at the mousetrap rodeo. Mouse eventually succeeds at entirely knocking the cheese off the trap. The mousetrap hears nothing, feels nothing. The mousetrap sleeps the sleep of the dead. Now does the mouse grab the cheese and make for the exit? No! It grabs the trap by the side, still without triggering it. Leave the cannoli; take the gun. Why? Not sure.

It scurries under the oven, trap in tow, and I hear a snap.

I move the fridge aside and fish out the mousetrap with a denuded swiffer-handle that had been collecting dust in the front closet. No mouse.

I'm nearly forced to conclude the little fucker just took the trap to communicate a certain message to me in the only way it could, considering that its diminutive middle digits would be effectively invisible.

The trap has been rebaited with cheese, glued loosely to the trigger with sunflower-seed butter to make the same gambit at least a little more costly. I wait.


Ohhhh nooo my bloodlessly competitive "oh, that little fucker" attitude is not intact after being woken up at 11:15 by stomach-turning squealing. Oof. Ugh. This part is not like cockroaches, either.

There's not a mouse in my apartment, now. Or at least there's a mouse not in my apartment.
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(no subject) [Oct. 15th, 2014|03:47 pm]

Had some nice Peruvian food in midtown as a kind of off-date birthday-celebrating thing with K and Sean and Arielle. Learned that they're planning to move to seattle in the spring which is sad, but I'm glad I got to hang out with them now.
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(no subject) [Oct. 14th, 2014|07:34 pm]

I am 34!

Here are some things I have apparently done in past years on this date.
2000: Watched the move "X-Men"
2001: Saw "Proof" on Broadway and ate some kopytka that krasnoludek's mom made.
2002: Attended the grad Type Systems class
2003: Studied japanese
2004: Practiced guitar
2005: Started watching "Alias"
2006: Ate food at Union Grill
2007: Went to a Roselawn 7 party
2008: Ate cookies shaped like wugs
2009: Saw David Crystal give a talk in philadelphia
2010: Paused to reflect on life and stuff
2011: Ate some ethiopian food
2012: Counted in binary
2013: Hung out with dr4b in california
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(no subject) [Oct. 13th, 2014|01:47 pm]

"We got the word "timesharing", and the word "unix" [...] and "unix" is an example of a proper name and is not likely to be in the dictionary, ever."

- Brian Kernighan (around the 9:10 mark)
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(no subject) [Oct. 12th, 2014|08:59 pm]

Attempted to make Shiro Wat, but it turned out weirdly porridge-like and not very flavorful. We speculate awash uses chicken stock or lard or something to make it extra delicious?
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