Wed Mar 5 17:33:15 EST 2003
Between all this dancing and late-night pool playing, my legs hurt --
a good ache, indicative of muscle-building rather than damage -- but
enough so that I'm conscious of my quadriceps for each stair in the
small sequence up to the Robot Lab. It could have been partially from
the Sri Lankan food I ate with way too much gusto before African the
other night, finger-wise, getting turmericked grains of rice all over
my jeans, before trying to leap repeatedly into the air an hour later,
stomach still full of spice and rice. At least, that can't have
Indolence, laziness, and apathy all proceed apace. The robotics kids
are pushing away at completing projects and reports before spring
break; I have one small paper that I can do in an hour or two. I feel
like I have free time but I just don't know what to do with it.
(Answer: continue to write thesis.) I'm not the workaholic that some
Germans we know are, but the apathy, weird sleep schedule, and other
factors of exhaustion make me curl all too easily, happy under my
Daunendecke at night, or in the Kohlberg chairs while reading
Nigella Lawson's rhapsodies on bread.
Spring is coming. The weather is above freezing; mud and puddles are
abounding. I intend to be productive over the break.
Sat Mar 8 24:26:20 EST 2003
What a lovely weekend. Orange, foodful, fruitful, wineful, and very
chill. Went up with Oliver et all to see Yo-Yo Ma, Emmanuel Ax, and
Wu Man on pipa with the New York Phil on Friday -- a concert which was
interesting but somewhat inaccessible to me (all relatively formless
modern music). But the soloists made up for it. Met Fanjul in the
lobby of Avery Fisher Hall after struggling through a line of little
old New York jewish ladies in the ladies' room. He proceeded without
question to take me to Café Mozart, where as I was gradually settling
into my cappucino and rum-soaked(!) Sachertorte, he commented how odd
it was for him to see me -- whom he
met as a dewy-eyed freshman three years ago -- completely ready to
The theme elaborated overlooking the crazy inverted planetarium at the
Museum of Natural History, where there was jazz-n-tapas going on but
we were just staring into the bowls of light, and over vegetarian
("zen") dinner, the first of several miso soups. I'm ready to leave,
and feel even readier when I'm not on campus or even in Philly, but
drinking a riesling with a champagne nose at Chris's Praise The Lord Dental Apartment,
following it with Lillet on the rocks garnished with a slice from a
fresh honeybell orange,
It's good to put these things into perspective, making buttermilk
scones after waking up practically on top of a cat who stared at
me, sphixine, all night (and against whom a little Zyrtec armed my
sinuses), drinking freshly-squeezed honeybell orange juice (I came
home with six -- they are amazing), using the zest for the scones, and
consuming them with butter and Swiss jam off the orange plate he
saw, thought of me, and bought. Lovely especially to realize all of
these things in the presence of a complete aesthete and gourmand, one
who not only enjoys food but tastes it fully, who now works at a wine
shop and lends me a
book to further my pronounced-but-uneducated oenophilia. The face
of discriminating gustatoric rapture he makes for good scones, good
wines. That digital technology as an art form excites him. It's so
different, so refreshing, from my typical environment. I have my own
version, but it's really pleasing to be complemented.
Thu Mar 13 23:40:29 CST 2003
Suddenly in Madison, where the grocery store plays classical music,
the Wisconsin Cheese section is larger than the non-local, the sushi
is some of the best I've had, and the temperatures are still
sub-freezing in mid-March. What can I say, it's Home. Not in the
sense that I want to come back here for any more than a week after
graduation; not in the sense that I want to stay any longer than the
almost two days I'm here this time, but Home as where I grew up, where
I know the roads and how to drive on them on ice.
Dad's doing well. Coughing surgically and with a twelve-inch war
wound, yes, but solid, and even walking well. Leaving the hospital
likely tomorrow. It's kind of a shock, realizing his sixty years.
But I'm glad I could come out and see him, walk around the corridors
with him, and show him pictures from my digital camera on Matti's
borrowed laptop (I log in, and see nori_is_a_latex_demon>
as my bash prompt! :-), on which I'm writing this thesis (topiclesser
and topiclesser per minute) in between eating and visiting.
And it's Alexis's 19th birthday. She took me out to sushi -- should
have been the other way around, really, but she's the one of the two
of us with an income. Stuffed ourselves at Wasabi and have lunch for
tomorrow. Oh, how do i decide between that and the Bagels Forever bagels?
Sun Mar 16 24:55:04 EST 2003
On a quest around McCabe this evening, taking pictures of myself
reflected in the windows of its machicolations -- a reflection I've
always particularly liked, looking studious, and it always caught me
at a good angle -- I came across a 1992 journal I was looking for,
Rivisti di Linguistica, volume 4. Inside was exactly what I
needed: an anthology of essays on compounding morphology, the first
one on German. Anyone in the field likely is aware of this journal,
knows about it like the oenophiles do the 1997 vintage of Tuscan
wines, like Claire's brunello over which I was able to exclaim last
Spring is coming in, just in time for the end of the eponymous break.
The terroir is starting to give off a scent, like a good red
wine, or the pages of a dusty journal. I love spring -- I hope it
doesn't distract me too much from my work ... but red wine and
morphology should get me through till June.
Sat Mar 22 17:43:47 EST 2003
Robot Lab. Sunday afternoon. No wait -- it's Saturday! There was no
food in Mike's kitchen above the flower shop, but Sean, returned this
morning from Chinatown, bears green kiwi gummis whose name he reads in
the kanji. Clock tolls 5:45 o'clock, an hour-twenty-five later.
Programming in 1's and 0's all afternoon; taking a break to eat a
strawberry on the sunny beach, loungers pretending to do work all over
the grass. Did I mention the strawberry?
Tue Mar 25 29:15:49 EST 2003
Up late coding labs;
ptrace bug exploitable.
Goddamned chirping birds.
Thu Mar 27 23:34:52 EST 2003
So tired, from staying up late Tuesday to
finish the lab, and have been thrown off ever since. The weather's
beautiful, but not yet seductively so, and cold enough that I can
still wear a sweater and my high-heeled clogs. So I'm still working,
I promise. Lots to do; more piling on as the days progress. And it
has to all get done in the next two weeks -- because in 336
hours, I will be over the Atlantic on my way to Paris!
It's a really crazy and stupid idea in many ways. A three-day
weekend; almost 20 hours of travel time altogether; weeks away from
graduation ... but I will have turned my thesis in by then, and I miss
a certain German who will be meeting me there! So, I'm pulling a
Sean, and taking a couple days off to go wander romantically around
Montmartre. Yes, it's a stupid idea, but who said being in love was
had anything to do rationality?
The meantime: forget this weather. Nose -- grindstone -- thesis --
exams ... all accomplishable. Ooh, but I'm excited!
Mon Mar 31 24:54:45 EST 2003
My eyes really only focus in tandem these days with coffee -- after
the opera last night, a wonderful Macbetto with a really
wonderful Lauren Flanigan as the eponymous Lady, three of us sat down
for cake and coffee (thereby missing our train back in), and it was
really only afterwards that the city popped into full relief; or
today, just now having been to Paces, me reading Zur Theorie und
Praxis der Kompositaforschung and Claire with her Bio, with a
chipped mug of coffee -- now the light snow (! and there were dippers
tonight in the Crum, but not I among them when it's subzero!) is quite
clear across campus, where early-bird April-foolers are chalking
I suppose I've been drinking too much of it of late ... but there has
been no detriment, and I'm sleeping fine (dreaming of Paris, where
it's ensoleillé and supposed to continue to be for a good long
while). And if it means I can continue to crank out this thesis --
put in some more AI theory, linguistic theory; tweak the allomorphy
algorithm -- and get my work done at a steady clip, well, I'm not
about to cut back until I see yellow spots.
all this ©nori heikkinen, March 2003