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laudate dominum, omnes gentes

29 April 2006
From the Department of Hebrews 4:9

So it's the Saturday at the end of Reading Week. I should be busting hump on a couple of papers, but I'm doing well enough on both that I opted for a day of rest, and what a day of rest it is!

A good friend has finally returned to the States and we're getting together for dinner tonight, so I made the obligatory grocery and beer run. Fish tacos are on the menu, so of course, Corona is required. After picking up the cervesas, I was perusing the other beers at Joey C's since their recent expansion has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of choices. And what did I find awaiting me but a sixer of Fuller's London Pride!

For those unacquainted with the doxological experience that is London Pride, you have my condolences. El Sacerdotio and I discovered the stuff on our trip to England this past January. We made a valiant effort at sampling all the local beers we could get our hands on, but constantly found ourselves making that last pint a London Pride. I was certain I couldn't get it in the States, but lo! There do I see my favorite beer!

Given that the puritanical hosers in Washington aren't going to legalize absinthe any time soon, the only European import that could possibly be cooler than this would be if Busaba Eathai opened up a store in New York.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to plant my ass squarely on my porch, enjoy this gorgeous weather and a London Pride.

And no, you can't have one. They're all mine.

low brow to no brow

25 April 2006
From the department of Jokes of which Chaucer would approve heartily.

In 1781, Benjamin Franklin wrote "To The Royal Academy of *****," wherein he posited that one day, science might be so far advanced as to positively affect the odor of flatus. Quoth the old letch:
My Prize Question therefore should be, To discover some Drug wholesome & not disagreable, to be mix’d with our common Food, or Sauces, that shall render the natural Discharges of Wind from our Bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreable as Perfumes.


Today, I think, ol' Ben would be proud. Modern science has finally yielded up what we've all been waiting for. Nope, not a cure for cancer. They've just invented a fart-free bean.

And just in case you think my esteemed ancestor, the BBC or even I are too far off color to preserve our literary, uh, airs, I'll leave you with a bit of the great English poet, Geoffery Chaucer.

This Nicholas was risen for to pisse,
And thoughte he woulde amenden al the jape;
He sholde kisse his ers er that he scape.
And up the wyndowe dide he hastily,
And out his ers he putteth pryvely
Over the buttok, to the haunche-bon;
And therwith spak this clerk, this Absolon,
"Spek, sweete byrd, I noot nat where thou art."

This Nicholas anon leet fle a fart
As greet as it had been a thonder-dent,
That with the strook he was almoost yblent;
And he was redy with his iren hoot,
And Nicholas amydde the ers he smoot.

--Miller's Tale 3798-3810.

There's a moral in that somewhere.

ecclesiastes 3:2

21 April 2006
From the Department of Words That Aren't French

This happens to me every freakin' year. Term ends, computer dies. The laptop, she does not turn on. Five tech support calls and a wasted day later, we find out that the laptop gets to take a trip back to Mom's Friendly Robot Company for a fix. (And if you got that last reference without clicking the link... well, give yourself a big ol' geeky gold star.)

But, all is not lost. I wasn't planning on working from the study suite this week anyway. At least my laptop did not die the ignominious death that someone else's did... But hey, the Apple Care is good for another 374 days, so it's all good.

Thank God for the desktop machine. (Knocking on wood and backing up data...)

today i feel

From the Department of That Book I Still Can't Find



You can play too.

everything's coming up millhouse

20 April 2006
From the Department of Munchies!

Ah, the planets seem to have aligned in wonderful ways today. (For the record, the pic has nothing to do with the post, but I figured a little extra visual stimulation goes a long way, right?)

As you will no doubt remember, my dear reader, a few weeks back I experienced something of a culinary breakdown. Said breakdown was remedied quickly enough by my landlord and my department more than graciously paid for the baked goods that were, until this morning, undelivered. While I didn't go remake the two cakes that the oven destroyed, I did make the carrot cake cupcakes that never got started and brought them to seminar this morning. The recipe was large enough that a batch went to a Bible seminar as well. Delivering the baked goods left me feeling like I'd redeemed my otherwise delinquent kitchen.

Secondly, I'm spending my last day of work in the Media Lab blogging. After this afternoon, no more techno-flunkiedom for me. Wee-ha!

Third (and this is definitely the most blatantly, shamelessly and irrepressibly self promoting of the three), I'm now officially published in my field. Yeah, so it's just a book review, but hey, we all have to start somewhere and I've got a couple of others not far behind.

life lessons from whole foods

12 April 2006
When you walk around the grocery store during the week of Passover singing to yourself in Hebrew, don't be surprised when people think you're Jewish.

who's that then?

11 April 2006
From the Department of Self Evident Monarchy

I'm going to completely rip-off an old friend and indulge in a little blog-listing what I've learned over the past week.

  1. Egyptian temple art is a lot funnier than you think it is. (Hint: Look for the baboons.)

  2. Conversations that include the question, "So just whose epistemology do you find sexy?" are really not going to wind up anywhere you want to go.

  3. In the course of slogging through two seminar papers, I've decided I want to be a pirate when I grow up. Yarrr! Avast! Shiver me timbers! Yeah, okay, so it's a stretch. Mostly, I just want a pirate hat.

  4. Tilapia, pecans and panko crumbs were meant to be together.

  5. Discretion is the better part of valor. Much like being asked, "Are you a god?" by a transdimensional chick who has bubbles for clothes, when a prof asks, "Wouldn't you rather take this seminar pass/fail and not have to write a paper?" you say YES.

  6. This will melt your brain and all resolve you have not to make embarrassing noises at work.

  7. The Donatist martyrs read Ray Bradbury. Seriously. There's a totally cool parallel between the memorization of scripture in the Abatinian Martyrs and the end of Fahrenheit 451. It's really cool. Honest. In the words of the great modern sage, "Look it up. I know you wont!"

  8. Getting a really good tattoo parlor to return your calls is often more difficult than getting out of a bar with some guy's phone number.

  9. Carrots work. I couldn't motivate myself to work on a paper, so I went out and bought a video game, sat it on top of my monitor and all of a sudden, I knocked out 15 pages of notes. Oh yeah. Get your frag on.

  10. Brokeback Mountain may make you cry, but this won't.

excuse me, i have some shopping to do

03 April 2006
From the Department of The Hot Tub After Winter Formal

At about four forty-five this afternoon, I was ready to cause a traffic accident in a mad dash for a manicure. After a weekend of kitchen disasters and my inability to manage my own calendar, I was a wreck. Full blown, drama queen wreck.

For me, the kitchen is a place of sabbath, renewal and joy. I almost never have unsalvageable kitchen disasters. When I've had a bad day, I cook. I really cook. Ask Space Cowboy, he lived with me for a summer. Bad day = huge dinner. So, when I've had an intense and rough week and I'm looking forward to some playtime in the kitchen, even if it is for a departmental function, it's a good thing. When my oven dies, utterly ruining ten hours of work, all is not well in Casa de Sloane. I originally thought the new bundt pan I bought was crap. From what I hear from those who have them, it is. But that wasn't the whole problem. A cake in a 9" pan should not take an hour and a half to bake all the way through, only to disintegrate when it comes out. Especially on recipes I've made dozens of dozens of times. So, I feel fairly confident in asserting that the oven is ill.

While this doesn't come as a surprise since it took me 40 minutes at 350° F to bake a single trout to the appropriate internal temperature, the p.o.s. could have chosen a better time to go belly up.

The other thing that is guaranteed to make me crazy is being late when it's my fault. I don't mind being late when it's on somebody else. Honestly, it doesn't phase me. But when I'm to blame, it makes me just about as nuts as a kitchen failure. Tonight, I was late for colloquium because I had it in my head that it was at 5:30 instead of 5:00. D'oh.

After an absolutely craptacular time last week, the kitchen battles and tardiness of today did not sit well with me. The generally easy-going chap that I am somehow receded into the background and my soap-opera-esque evil twin came to the fore. And she didn't even have the courtesy to show up in drag! Sheesh... the nerve...

But you know what?

It's all better now. I got home, poured myself a whisky (or two), read some Augustine and chilled out. But, much like "those four amazing hours in the hot tub ... after winter formal," it's just "so much better than that."

I even did a happy dance.

Why?

Because I'm a gigantic freakin' nerd. One might even say an epic nerd. Level 40 at least. I wield the Lexicon of Smiting +20/+20. (See? I told you I was a nerd. A series of references to Legally Blonde followed by RPG humor; how much nerdier can one get? Well, just you wait and see...) I just got online and found course listings for next spring at the University. While there's nothing on Islam, that's no crisis and no obstacle to preparing for comps. I can just do a readings course at the Sem. No big. But, there is a doctoral seminar on.... *drum roll* Medieval Liturgy.

Hiz-ell. Yiz-eah.

Or, in a more poetic idiom, "O frabiose dies! Callo clamateque Calla!"

düde! it works!

02 April 2006

Just when I was beginning to think that Kevin was cheating or something because he keeps winning stuff from Blingo, I won!

Mmmm... iTunes gift certificate...

Wøøt. Wøøt indeed.

Now, get off your cyber-kiester, get with the Blingo and make me your buddy so we can both win stuff.