Fforde Every Stream

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 11:15 pm
chanaleh: (tigerstudent)
I just finished reading The Eyre Affair. It's the first time I've read anything by Jasper Fforde. Why? Because Tiger Boy had a thing against him: a certain internalized rivalry, because he'd had a short story rejected on the grounds that it was "too much like Jasper Fforde" -- specifically the Nursery Crime series, because it was submitted right around the time The Big Over Easy came out, and in all fairness, it actually was (coincidentally) along similar lines, despite the fact that he'd written it well before. So he bore a grudge, and thus I never felt like I ought to read (much less enjoy) anything of Jasper Fforde, because it would be disloyal or something.

... Right. That particular bridge being well washed out, I finally took this one out of the library.

And what do you know, I quite liked it. It's lacking something in terms of absolute brilliance, but it struck a lightness of tone that is in fact in the vein of something I have recently started pondering writing -- a kind of alternate-universe urban-fantasy cleverness, occasionally precious, but not taking itself so seriously that that poses a problem. And the climactic scene literally gave me both chills and grins by turns, which is always a good sign.

But it helps to be really, really well acquainted with Jane Eyre. Probably Shakespeare, too. And a smattering of Lake District poetry for good measure. -- Geez, why did it take me so long to pick this up again?
chanaleh: (leila)
[livejournal.com profile] negass is holding a 35th Anniversary G&S Sing-Out marathon weekend June 11-12 (ably chaired by [livejournal.com profile] suntop), in Concord, and I'll be reprising Tessa in it and some other things, ) hooray!

Also, on Wednesday May 4 (a week and a half from now), the Museum of Science is holding a special event they're calling a "Moonwalk Mashup" (I was betting it might be related to the Cambridge Science Festival, but apparently it's "part of [an] ongoing series When Science Meets Art". Anyway, part of the evening is a "Cosmic Story Slam", and when I heard about the competition several weeks ago I sent the info to Tiger Boy, and it turns out he applied to participate -- and qualified as one of the 6 storytellers for the event! Tickets are $15. I can't go (prior engagement), but you all should think about it. :-)

And now I'm off to figure out what fun and/or productive thing(s) to do with myself for the next several hours on a mostly-sunny, non-yomtov (but still Passover so food things are mostly out), Easter Sunday in NYC.

zman cheruteinu

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 02:48 pm
chanaleh: (snoopydock)
or, what I did on my Passover vacation, day 8:

We filed the papers.

Planning to go back on Thurs (pending any work flare-ups) to try to get a same-day hearing.


Please note that this is a public entry.
chanaleh: (bell)
Long ago
In someone else's lifetime
Someone with my name
Who looked a lot like me
Came to know
A man and made a promise
He only had to say
And that's where she would be
Although her feelings run just as deep
The promise she made has grown impossible to keep
And yet I wish it wasn't so
Will he miss me if I go?

In a way
It's someone else's story
I don't see myself
As taking part at all
A girl that I was fond of
Finally could see
The writing on the wall
Sadly, she realized she'd left him behind
And sadder than that -- she knew he wouldn't even mind
And though there's nothing left to say
Would he listen if I stay?

It's all very well to say 'you fool, it's now or never'
I could be choosing
No choices whatsoever

I could be
In someone else's story
In someone else's life
And he could be in mine
I don't see
A reason to be lonely
I should take my chances
Further down the line
And if that girl I knew should ask my advice
Oh, I wouldn't hesitate, she needn't ask me twice --
Go now!
I'd tell her that for free;
Trouble is, the girl is me
The story is, the girl is me


Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 01:56 am
chanaleh: (chagall)
Our anniversary was two weeks ago already: August 31. Hard to believe. :-}
Don't wish us a happy anniversary, though. Seriously, please just don't. I'll explain more later. Promise.

We had rehearsal for Never After at 7pm that night, but we swung through Harvard Square beforehand for a (relatively) quick anniversary dinner at Om Nom Nom Nom, which we had a gift certificate for and had long been excited to try. The verdict: Meh. ) Ah well. It was still a nice thing and we were glad we did it.

After rehearsal, we went home, ate two and a half slivers of our defrosted wedding cake (and merrily dumped the rest), got into bed early, and tried to focus on the happy memories from this past year. The bright spots, the joys large and small.

One of those that I especially wanted to share with you all was something we saw in Provence on our honeymoon last October (which, I know, I never did post a travelogue of). There was an artist whose gallery we stumbled into in Vaison-la-Romaine half an hour before closing and liked so much that we were determined to buy something on the spot, but ran out of time trying to pick just one and ended up leaving without so much as a business card... and then we could never remember her name for months afterwards, so we couldn't even locate her on Google! After reminiscing about it this time, though, I finally remembered enough to piece it together and find her, and it's Ansatu Schlumberger. Go on, click through. I promise it will brighten your day. It did mine.

Meanwhile, this past weekend was [livejournal.com profile] ablock's Camp Wedding, which, despite the chill and dreary weather (all the more excuse for marvelous log fires, bourbon, and an emergency trip to the Eddie Bauer outlet :-) and the rather punishing lack of sleep (due to the all-night-every-night slumber party), was a rollicking good time for all concerned. I mean, they had Golem as their wedding band. How awesome is that?
chanaleh: (tigerPUB)
Tiger Boy's been in San Diego all week for a conference.
He's on a plane right now headed back to Boston, and will come crawling into bed around 6:30am.

I've changed all the clocks, tidied everything up as best I can... and now just have to figure out how to fall ASLEEP so 6:30am will come faster.

I'd nearly forgotten what waiting for Christmas morning feels like, but this is totally it.
chanaleh: (chagall)
Three years ago, that is... as of yesterday, when it became official.

photographic evidence )

We have not set a specific date -- could still be anywhere from April to October 2008. After looking at the calendar last night, though, we're tentatively thinking Labor Day weekend (also Rosh Chodesh Elul), which would be Sunday, August 31, 2008. Updates to come.

I expect this will continue to feel incredibly surreal for at least the next several days. :-)
chanaleh: (2005)
Oh, so much happening all the time, so little leisure to write about it. I reflect, I sometimes begin to compose, but I fail to actually write.

On the other hand, I finally, finally got my hair cut this weekend. Not so's you'd notice... but *I* notice. Whew. (For those who would notice those three inches, I present a pictorial tribute to my longer hair, behind the cut = before the cut ).)

Thesis Boy can go back to being Tiger Boy, as he has not only successfully defended but in fact turned in the dissertation. However, he then had exactly two days before flying to Orlando to present a paper (related work, fortunately) at this robotics conference. (Him: "But I could still submit thesis revisions when I get back..." Me: "NO! YOU ARE DONE!") I am flying down to join him Thursday afternoon, whereupon we will attempt to cram four theme parks (plus DisneyQuest and Cirque du Soleil) into roughly 73 hours. Aww yeah.

And in two more weeks we go to the Princeton Reunions. And a week after that, he graduates. Oh, and also, he has now accepted the postdoc at Harvard for next year, so that's official. *grin*

My own work proceeds apace. I finally sent The Cryptoclub to press on Friday, so it's onward and upward. Besides the books and covers and ads, tomorrow we have our first-ever shareholders' meeting and I got to design the annual report, so that was exciting. And in case I haven't mentioned, we're now looking to hire someone under me, so those of you who have (or know anyone with) layout chops... come on, guys, help me out here. :-)

Also, Honorable Menschen is holding tenor auditions next Monday night (or by appointment). You don't necessarily have to be Jewish, although the gig may interest you less if you aren't.

Meanwhile, we had had a Lag B'Omer barbeque scheduled at shul tonight, with a rain date of tomorrow night. However, this being roughly the sixth (is that all?) in a predicted 9-day stretch of rain, we have instead postponed to next Tuesday. This means I am freed up to... attend another shul meeting, of the "Long-Range Planning Committee" (a.k.a. the vision thing). So it goes. And here I go.
chanaleh: (tigerstudent)

Speaker: Justin Werfel, MIT CSAIL
Date: Friday, April 28 2006
Time: 2:00PM to 3:00PM
Location: 32-D463 (Star)

In this thesis I describe a distributed system for automating construction, in which autonomous mobile robots build user-specified structures from square building blocks. The swarm approach is inspired by social insects, which build large, complex structures through the collective actions of many simple agents acting with no centralized control or preplanning. The artificial system I present shares many desirable features with these natural ones, such as considerable parallelism and robustness to component loss. Further, unlike insect colonies, it can build particular desired structures according to a high-level design.

Robots in this system act without explicit communication or cooperation, instead using the partially completed structure to coordinate their actions. This mechanism is analogous to that of stigmergy used by social insects, in which insects take actions that affect the environment, and the environmental state influences further actions. I introduce a framework of "extended stigmergy" in which building blocks are allowed to store, process or communicate information. Increasing the capabilities of the building material (rather than of the robots) in this way increases the local availability of nonlocal structure information. Benefits include significant improvements in construction speed and in ability to take advantage of the parallelism of the swarm.

I describe system design and control rules for decentralized teams of robots that collectively build arbitrary solid structures in two dimensions. I present a hardware prototype, and discuss extensions to more general structures, including those built with multiple block types and in three dimensions.


Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 11:28 pm
chanaleh: Muffin the Vampire Baker: "It's him, Muffin! You have to protect him at all costs!" "I'M ON IT!" (i'm on it!)
I did some minor friendslist trimming this past week or so. Not that anyone had offended me (!), I promise I still think you're all cool; just that there were some people, friends of friends and whatnot, who I never really see or expect to connect with further. Anyone expressing disappointment will be cheerfully added back.

Chag Purim sameach! and happy Pi Day! (Remember, only 31 to go until Tax Day...)

Another reasonably productive day at work; I was there until 8:30pm, making it roughly a 12-hour day, but it was worthwhile. I might still manage to get this book to press by 3/24, if I can get the poor author to churn through the proofs fast enough. It will be awesome when it's done, though. Let me tell you: it is a great thing to be doing work that I am personally invested in.

Speaking of book design: Tomorrow (Wednesday) night is the New England Book Show (for which I served on the judging panel this year). It's in the Copley Plaza; the reception starting at 5:30pm costs a fortune to go to, but the book display is open to the public for free noon-3pm, for those of you book geeks who are in the area.

Still no motion on the car-buying front, for those who have been inquiring. However, I am starting to lean toward listening to the new-vehicle proponents, after all. If only I can get down to the freakin' dealership and check things out! Maybe this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend: I am, sadly, NOT going to be attending Lunacon, as I must be in Cambridge for runthroughs of Antiphony both Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of the Family Opera: Tickets can be preordered here, though seating is general admission. I will appear in my solo role in performances #2 (7pm Saturday 4/1) and #7 (2pm Sunday 4/9), and in the chorus in performances #4 (6pm Sunday 4/2) and #5 (3pm Saturday 4/8). Got that? (Note that any performance I'm not in, the [livejournal.com profile] persis/[livejournal.com profile] jslove crew are in, so really you can't go too far wrong.)

Tiger Boy is now on his plane back from New Mexico. Apparently the interview today went... Very Well. I am torn between pride and panic. :-}

[livejournal.com profile] ablock finally got me registered for http://muffinbuttons.com! Now we just have to point it at my actual site. Or move the pages to somewhere useful, or something. Oh yeah, I should also think about updating the content while I'm at it. -- Incidentally, the Flick Filosopher (MaryAnn Johanson, whom I met at Arisia when she bought a "geek" button from me) blogged me last month. How cool is that?!

And now to bed, as I have a dentist appointment in roughly 8 hours. ([livejournal.com profile] queue, I should be in around 10am.)

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