Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Apparently, I Write Like A Boy.

One of the internet widgets I've recently found is the Gender Genie, which implements an algorithm tracking keywords that are, according to the creator, indicative of gender.

Blog posts, essays, fiction... only one of them thought I was at all girlie, and that was a retelling of Sir Gawain in not at all colloquial English. I wonder what it would think if I wrote a short story about barbie dolls...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I've been tagged by a Commonplace Book meme...

As per Mark's instructions, , quoting from the book that's nearest to hand right now, p123, sentences 5, 6 and 7.
She looked then to Ukiah, curled in the rental car's backseat. "How do you feel?"
"I'm fine, Sam. I just want to go to sleep."

which isn't very interesting. Personally, I liked this bit better:

Sam picked up her coffee. "What I would love is a picture of Ukiah's father, so I know all the players."
   Max looked at Ukiah, puzzled.
   "Rennie," Ukiah said. "Indigo says he flew into Portland yesterday."
   "Oh, shit! That's the last thing we needed!" Max pulled out his PDA and played with it for a few moments. "Here. This is him."
   Sam viewed the picture a moment, sipping her coffee, and then suddenly spit it all back out. "This is the FBI Most Wanted list!"
   "Yes, it is." Max reached for his PDA. "I don't have any other picture of Shaw."
   Sam leaned out of reach, scrolling down through the entry. "Wanted for arson, assault with a deadly weapon, auto theft, burglary ...kidnapping...manslaughter...murder - oh my god, you weren't kidding! He is a homicidal lunatic! And he's coming here?"
   "See, I'm not the only one he has that effect on," Max said to Ukiah.
   "He's not that bad," Ukiah said meekly. "Once you get to know him"


Wen Spencer, Tainted Trail, New York: New American Library, 2002.

And I tag Starfire and Repton Infinity, because I think there'll be some interesting stuff coming out of their libraries.

That's a quote from your physically nearest book, p123, sentences 4, 5 and 6, and because that isn't necessarily the most interesting bit, I'm adding "plus the extract of your choice" to the list. :-)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On Health, Part Two

I'm back from surgery, which actually went pretty well. The worst part so far has been trying to find a liquid I can keep down as I'm the statistically 1 in 50 whom morphine makes really nauseous. I've been stuffed full of anti-emetics, am wearing Cat's motion-sickness acupressure wrist bands, and was given a unit of saline via intravenous drip when the recovery room nurses got worried about how dehydrated I was getting. I also have the most appalling cotton mouth, which made trying to eat a piece of toast an interestingly unpleasant affair. Also, I'm feeling very spaced and tired, but that's entirely normal. And for the record, all the nursing and surgical staff were very friendly, even the specialist who scared the heck out of me last time around.

On the plus side, I don't have endometriosis, which the surgery today was supposed to find out, but does beg the question of why do I get the aches and pains I've been having. More tests are probably on the way, but I decline to worry about that now.

And a Happy Valentine's Day to John who has reminded me that come the 26th of February we'll have been going out for an entire year. Gosh, time really does fly. (And no, to answer your question, I'm still not sick of you. ;-))

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Last night I edited some old posts and I've just discovered that this means the LJ feed has vomited out a lot of them. Sorry.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

On Language Learning

So, this trimester I'm signed up for the 300-level Old English course. Since I haven't taken the 200-level Old English course that is its prerequisite I have the next two weeks (plus this past week) to pick up enough vocabulary and grammar to not totally drown in the class. (1) It's mostly going OK, but I'm noticing a certain trend in the example sentences. See, whoever wrote the 200 study guide really wasn't interested in whether Horatia snatched the food off the table and ate it greedily, or even where the pen of my aunt is. Let's see some examples:

- Hi woldon stelan Pa mathmas. (2) -> They wished to steal the treasures. (3)
- Pa weras ferdon hergiende and sleande. -> The men went devastating and slaying.
- God aelmihtig is ealra hlaforda hlaford. -> God almighty is lord of lords.
- Hinguar Pa leode of-slog, weras and wif and Pa unwittigan cild. -> Hinguar killed the people, men and women and the innocent children.
- ...and hine swungon langlice mid swipum. -> ...and flogged him with whips for a long time.

There's also the continuing saga about Where the Head Is. Somehow I think that when I get to translating actual texts there's going to be a certain preoccupation in the subject matter.

(1) I meant to start earlier, but was rather distracted by writing my site essay and that whole earning a living thing.
(2) P is being used for 'thorn', th for 'eth.'
(3) Anyone wishing to correct my translations is entirely welcome. :-)

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I can't believe I spent two years at Vic without knowing about this site. It has scans of Journal articles. Lots of them, including several that I personally pursued into the bowels of the Uni library looking for. That's dust, poor air conditioning, and big shelves that you have to move with a winder and look like they're about to Squash you, folks.

Dammit. 8 months ago I asked the librarian at the Information Desk about journal databases and the only one he knew about was the National Library's one, which is lovely, but exceedingly poor on Classics.

(Thanks for telling me about it, Naomi.)

On the plus side...

I'm finished! Huzzah! No more site essay for me! It's even printed. :-)

The only downside is that it's Sunday and I can't hand the bally thing in straight away before I have a chance to change my mind about something.

Friday, February 02, 2007

On Health

I have a good GP. One of the reasons I know this is because when I wander into his office to wail about whatever happens to be wrong with me, I can confidentally expect that he'll ask me how my study is going, how the trip to Greece was, things about my social life, in fact, the things you'd expect someone you know quite well to ask. Since I hate going to see doctors, this cuts down a lot on my intimidation and fear-of-incredibly-personal-questions issues. Does the good doctor have a super dooper memory that retains small talk from every patient he's met ever? Probably not, but he does keep copious notes. I've seen them, whilst peering over the man's shoulder.

One of the items written down a little over a year ago was from when I was explaining exactly why I hated being on the pill. I had mood swings up to my ears - happy sad happy happy Sad - and in my peering I found out that the doctor-speak for that is 'emotionally labile.' That's a good phrase. It's a good way to describe how I feel right now, bouncing with joy about how good life is right now (and life is very good), then suddenly wanting to cry, and then just as quickly being happy again. I think this sucks, and wish I could level out some, or even better, get to stay at the happy level All the Time.

There is one thing I'm worried about. On Monday, I have a preop appointment with a different doctor who is very busy and not nearly so nice, and on Wednesday the week after I'm scheduled for day surgery. All of this post is actually linked. The surgery is to investigate why I've been having horrible periods, the first step in the process being, over a year ago, to stick me on the pill to see if that changed anything. It did. It made things a lot worse. Stupid body.

Also, while all this is supposed to be routine, I find I've watched far too many hospital TV shows in which things go horribly wrong, and I have far too good an imagination for my peace of mind. Bother it all.

Did I mention that I hate seeing doctors?