magid: (Default)
Rereading "The Lions of al-Rassan" in almost one gulp.

Eating nice food I'd made for myself (rather than just settling for a meal-in-a-pot as I usually do when it's just me), plus finding it was food I was really in the mood to be eating (thanks to [ profile] queue for the dumplings-in-cooked-fruit suggestion, as well as the dumpling recipe).

Lots of conversations.

The Israeli Independence Day fair on the Common.
more details )

Playing a new game, Xactika, for the first time.
more description )
magid: (Default)
During the usual five rounds of Boggle at lunch, I saw that there was a word almost there, couldn't help writing it down, to get it out of my head. And then [ profile] queue pointed out that it was there after all... oops. So I did end up getting points for "titular," though I didn't win the round, by any means...

(My longest word of the day: "requirer")
magid: (Default)
Shabbat dinner at a friend's place that included a cold almond soup with garlic and halved green grapes (I know it sounds odd, but it was good), some wonderful mushrooms with 2 kinds of potatoes, a chocolate cake with 3 kinds of fresh berries.

The birthday picnic included a wheat-barley salad (including olives, halved grape tomatoes, scallions, pine nuts, and a cider vinegar vinaigrette) that was well-received :-), also yet another of the vegan chocolate cakes, chocolate chips spelling out the birthday boy's name.

And later today I attempt my first batch of dumplings in chicken soup.

From my place to the Hatch Shell, then back again after the concert. On the way there, I found another of those painted signs attached below a parking sign; it is by the intersection of Hampshire and Union streets, I believe, on the south side of the street, and has a bit of a castle keep on a white background. I still find the width of the sidewalk on the pepperpot bridge alarmingly small, but it was cool to see the decorations only visible to pedestrians and boaters. And on the way back, we all appreciated the rising of the full moon; gorgeous.

A walk around a neighborhood in Malden, noticing the architectural details of some of the houses; I hadn't walked around those particular streets before, so it was fun to see new places. (One place had gargoyles guarding it!)

Games played:
Lost Cities, Tigris & Euphrates (no Boggle! amazing!)

The birthday picnic was Saturday afternoon in front of the Hatch Shell, with many friends, much food, presents, and bubbles. The day was pretty nice for it, too, though cooler in the shade than I was comfortable with; I hadn't worn enough layers. The music at the concert was good, though I liked Suzanne Vega the best, and I know some of that is the lack of incredibly loud bass in her music, compared to the other 2 groups, which makes me feel old (I hadn't remembered to bring earplugs....). Ah, well. Much silliness, all around :-).

The clothing swap was Sunday afternoon, and I was glad to have gone, though wasn't feeling well enough to hang out longer and chat with people :-( (I was particularly glad to see Mangosteen, even if it was briefly - it's been far too long.)

And I enjoyed watching some classic cartoons on DVD. There were some fables and fairy tale ones I hadn't realized had been animated by Disney so long ago. And, other than the usual sterotypes I'd expected, I was surprised by how much spitting there was, and use of southern drawl to denote laziness. Still, the use of the music and the visuals together really are fun to watch.
magid: (Default)
i decided to go to a new "satellite" minyan held for the first time this week.

[background: long, long ago, harvard had one ortho minyan for any given service, barring things like shiva minyans (for a mourner, at the house, during the 1st week after burial). then things started changing. there's a women's tefilla group that meets once or twice/month. some guys wanted an earlier mincha on shabbat, right after kiddush. someone decided to have a carlebach davening in someone's home. etc. so this year, the board decided to regularize the situation, having someone on the board to coordinate satellite minyanim, also ensuring they got into the announcements, so everyone could choose whether or not to attend, rather than depending on friend groups to spread the word. so this year there's been a lot more alternatives, with a satellite minyan seeming to happen every 2 weeks, at least. plus someone's starteda weekly kids' service, too.]

this minyan was billed as more inclusive than the usual, while committed to halacha. a woman led kabbalat shabbat, a man led maariv. a man counted the omer [today's the 17th day, 2 weeks and 3 days], and a woman lead the line-by-line saying of a chapter of psalms, thinking of americans serving in afghanistan, israelis called to the army, etc, in the hope of peace.

the davening was excellent. the woman who led kabbalat shabbat had a beautiful voice, also took her time. it was a carlebach style, so much singing, even some dancing (though the room wasn't well set up for that. plus there were many more people than expected.). and the guy leading maariv was great in a completely different way, more traditional, but thoughtful, also great voice. i think i had my first good, focused amidah (silent prayer) in months...

of course, it went rather late (and this on the first "late" shabbat, after the time change. i got to my friends' house around 30 minutes later than i had expected.... to find that their baby was being fussy, so she stayed upstairs calming the baby. later, she fell asleep, so he and i had dinner, having interesting conversations that were completely different topics than what we would've talked about had she been there. a break for some rounds of set, then home.

i tried to sleep in shabbat morning. failed (in that 7 am giving up sort of way, tigerbright!). perhaps it is time to move to the summer bedroom...

i'd made the salmon gefilte fish i'd had in the freezer, tried it for lunch. i'd made it with extra dill and white pepper, and the taste was fine, but the texture was off, somehow, more crumbly or something, in a way i don't care for.

then a fun game afternoon in davis sq, playing 3 new-to-me games, the names of which escape me, except carcassonne. all were fun.

spring is here: the annual reappearance of big ugly black ants has started :-(

i finished the 2nd course of antibiotics... hopefully that will be the last of them!

birds' nests visible
in skeletal tree branches.
soon hidden by spring.

(i had a different version of this friday afternoon as i walked to shul, but somehow i didn't manage to hold onto it completely until after shabbat...)

i wonder what birds' criteria are for trees-to-build-nests-in
magid: (Default)
(not that this is really new...)

so, striking out into 3-d in a different way, i was thinking of having 2 boards, one above the other. all standard rules apply, but in addition, you could move up/down or diagonally up/down between the boards. then i realized i didn't think i could really get this to work for me w/ 2 boards next to each other. and i couldn't figure out how to have one above the other, showing the correct alignment, while still having all the letters visible, and only the current letters visible. so, as long as i'm coming up with unworkable permutations, why not go whole hog, as it were, and suggest a 5 by 5 by 5 cube of letters to play with (actally, i suppose a 4 by 4 by 4 cube would work here, even for a minimum 5 letter game. after all, that's 64 letters...). how to get it so only the correct letter is visible, and all the letters are visible to everone? all i could think of was some sort of star trek thing, where each cube is programmed with its 6 (or 7. hooray for qu.) letters, including which is "on" each face of the cube. then, once the cubes are shaken into some sort of airy translucent grid contraption, x seconds later all sides of the cube show the same letter that is on the top face. still doesn't address sight lines, though i'd assume the letters would be more apart than they are now. maybe not exactly a spacious cube, but more along the lines of a square frustum, cut off at the bottom, so the lines of acceptable play would still be there, but the alignments wouldn't tend to block visibility as much. hmmm....
magid: (Default)
* clocks changing tonight

i never did understand how that gave anyone "more" time, rather than more conveniently named time. the clocks always seem to change just when shabbat is at the right times. now it will end late enough that saturday night plans are trickier. and the afternoon almost demands a nap, or a long walk... time flows in circles, and i have to reaccustom myself to the rhythm of summer shabbatot, so different than winter. invitations are more likely to be lunch ones, and the food different, too.

* hand update

i realized that people i hadn't seen who'd heard i'd broken a finger were expecting a splint over one finger, not my forearm... one person said i should just say i hurt my hand, & leave it at that.

so, an update. i've been doing the exercises, and there's definitely improvement. i have more range of motion, and more easy motion, not as big a mental hurdle to do. when i take the splint off to move the 2 fingers, i move the others as well, also my wrist, and i feel everything creaking less. the fingers still resemble overstuffed sausages, but i have more degrees of rotation at each joint.

the back of my hand is hurting much less; i don't know if it's recovered from all the probing/bleeding from the appt weds, or is becoming more accustomed to motion in general as i do more, or if it was infected, and the antibiotics are doing their job. whatever - i'm just glad it doesn't hurt much. i don't have to elevate the hand as much as i sleep, and holding it horizontally for a bit seems to feel ok too. of course, i expect there'll be need for painkillers mon after the pins come out, but hopefully it won't be much.

* boggle permutations

kept thinking about this, playing with the usual rules or variants, but with new wrinkles. i'm not sure they'f really be playable w/o much mental change, though...

cylindrical boggle: 2 opposite sides of the board link up, so there are no corners, just 2 opposite edges.

spherical boggle: same as above, but all opposite sides meet up.

moebius boggle: like cylindrical, but flop the matchups, so opposite corners match up.

klein bottle boggle 1: 2 sides meet normally, 2 sides flop.

klein bottle boggle 2 (i know this is topologically different than the one above, but couldn't figure out which really was a klein bottle (1 eems more likely to me.), which something else (what?). i need to take a topology course.): like spherical, but both sides flop their matchups.

* shabbat

before shabbat, had my 1st shower in weeks. i feel so much cleaner after a shower than a bath- baths are more for soaking in, i guess.

i had my first invitation out for shabbat dinner in a long time. it went later than i'd expected (i got home after midnight, a few moments before the light in the livingroom went off.), but had some interesting conversation, some of which i felt rather separate from... i haven't thought about how i should make the world a better place (in those terms, anyway) in a while.

* omer

it is the 10th night, which is one week and 3 days, aka 13 base 7.
magid: (Default)
i'd been feeling low about the lack of cooking veggies in my life (note to self: remember this the next time i bitch about veggie prep.), esp onions, for some reason.

so tonight, i managed, using the left elbow and some large onions, to chop onions! large dice, but still exciting to me (lord, my life is so small sometimes...). not only that, i sauteed them, and have a weird passover permutation of lasagna (no soft cheese, none of the right spices, no veggies but onion & crushed tomatoes...) in the oven.

boggle words of the day: OVOIDS and CRESSET

[insert total goofiness here. then pretend you don't notice it. oops! there it goes now! nope, it's behind you again! ok. i knew there'd be a good use for that decorated tin sometime. just remember NOT TO OPEN IT!]

read an ebook (novel?) last night, which felt more like a bunch of interconnected vignettes about bizarre characters in the not-so-distant future, all around the playing of icehouse, the author had fun intertwining the different pieces in different ways; in the end, it felt like he just ended his playtime with that universe of characters, rather than coming to any sort of resolution. but the odd characters were fun, anyway.

tonight is the 5th night of the omer.

i was talking with a cow orker about suicide bombers, and he pointed out that there are now women (well, at least one woman) who do this. we talked about how some brainwashing of the rank and file must go on to get people to do this, and i mentioned the 7 virgin brides muslim martyrs get in heaven (he said it's 70). so, what about women? neither of us knew, but we both wondered if this meant there was an added incentive for lesbian muslims...
(i know, this is totally in poor taste, in tons of ways. i just can't seem to face the news straight (sic) on, anymore.)
magid: (Default)
bits & pieces from the 3-day yom tov:

walking to the 1st seder, near porter sq, & enjoying the walk, realizing it's been ages since i'd had just that feeling of my body in motion & enjoying how it all works together, muscles, bones, etc. rhythm, in the zone, whatever. and holding one hand up didn't seem to be as limiting a factor as previous days, keeping me slower than usual.

walking to the 2nd seder didn't feel as wonderful, but i had a beautiful view of the rising full moon, large & gorgeous.

the seders were completely different in almost every way except for the absolute basics (4 cups; dinner later than people prefer; etc.), and that i got home sometime after 1 am both nights, walking through the quiet streets.
1st night, i was surprised by the haggadah, one i'd not seen before, which included rather a lot about moses, which is not what i'm used to. some of the other english paragraphs i found more thought-provoking than i usually do w/ english readings. one of the earliest-ending seders i've been to (much time for chat after), and one of the most fun-filled, w/ much silliness :-) & i enjoyed sitting next to cthulhia, chatting w/ jb, tcb a bit.
2nd night was a smaller, older group (i said the 4 questions). we alternated the leader reading the haggadda w/ others reading the translation, and asking questions as they were thought of. w/ only 8 people, it was easier to have everyone in a conversation at once. i counted the 1st night of the omer (counting up to shavuot, 50 days later).

both mornings i slept in, desperate for sleep. happily, people joined me for lunch both days, so i had to get out of bed at some point... i made matza brei for the 1st lunch, using the electric burner i'd left on a timer (ie making it worthwhile to have left it on), which started me towards the end of the matza... last year i used only 2 lb, so this year i got 2 lb... and it's already gone. i suppose i'll get more tomorow.

played some games (chez geek, guillotine), read some books, hung out. lower key than i hadany right to expect.
now if i could just get use of my hand... (the fingers have been itching. i know it's unlikely the pins'll come out weds when i next see the doctor, but it would be great...)
still don't know any sort of timeline for after the pins are out; i have to ask weds.

mixed day

Mar. 20th, 2002 10:13 pm
magid: (Default)
i stayed home from work today, having a dr appt smack in the middle of the morning.

on the positive side:
i pretty much got the work i'd brought home to do done.

and i no longer have the cast that makes my hand into its own postal code.

i made 2 batches of pizza (6 total) that turned out to pretty darn good. one batch of dough had garlic powder in it, for extra zing. i used a variety of cheeses (ie, what did i have left?), including mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan in the powdered form, and feta. basic crushed tomatoes enhanced with minced garlic (dried, from a container; still no veggie prep for me...), basil, and oregano. also capers, and back olives, and on one pizza, the last of the grape tomatoes and marinated artichoke hearts. definite feeling of accomplishment, esp since i managed to have dinner ready (table set & everything) when cthulhia, hrafn, and queue arrived. and it was lovely company for dinner, too.

went to cthulhia's monthly looney game night (got to ride in the snazzy new car, too), and learned a new (to me) game, rambots. i don't think i have a really good idea of the strategy yet, but it waas fun. i also got some more icehouse pieces, which means i can now play volcano at home :-).

but on the down side:
at the dr appt when he took off the cast, i saw the back of my hand w/ the pins sticking out. i surprised myself by feeling rather faint, having to lie down. i don't think that's happened before. (did realize that deep belly breathing would be likely to help a lot, and it did.)

then to get the newest splint (this would be splint/cast#4 now, less than 2 weeks from the original fall). and the woman who did it just didn't seem to have a clue. she was pleasant enough, but the way she put this splint on my hand HURT. more than the original injury. more than surgery. i lay there, biting my lip, stomach heaving from unvoiced yells, fist clenched, tears streaming down into my ears. but i didn't move my arm. and yes, i had told her it hurt. didn't seem to help. when the dr came in, he managed to find ways of touching the same ares gently. mild pain, but expected levels, well w/in bounds. he's seen me through the whole thing, knows i tend to be stoic about stuff like this. i found my self hoping he'd bawl her out after i left... not a good frame of mind for me....

and tonight it hurts more, in general. i took painkillers, but they didn't seem to be doing much. i suppose tomorrow i get the percoset prescription filled, & hope it works better.

[now i've got the whines out of my system]

so if i can focus outside the locus (no, no flagons with dragons here... :-) of my hand, it was a pretty good day, despite the variable weather.


Mar. 4th, 2002 02:30 pm
magid: (Default)
I saw a word during the last round with Queue today, but hadn't quite managed to start the first letter when time ran out. In the end, we tied, so had I managed to write it, I would've been able to say I won by "labias." (I would've written the plural first, though I suppose it would be more fun to say I won by a labia.... :-)

boggle brag

Feb. 7th, 2002 12:50 pm
magid: (Default)
i found what may be my first 9-letter word today:
(also found snootier. and on a nicer note, cutie, and yurts, and liege. :-)


Feb. 5th, 2002 10:24 pm
magid: (Default)
managed to sink three balls in a row, which is a first for me, i think.

thanks to zzbottom for lots of coaching.

(and i did well in the other game today too: i won more than half the boggle rounds i played with queue. obviously the gaming gods were smiling today, or something.)
magid: (Default)
i finally won the last round (decisively :-) with some nice words, including delivers, which is obviously what a surgeon does when someone needs a liver transplant....
magid: (Default)
game night friday night: aquarius, lost cities, solitaire (2 kinds)
saturday: connect four, boggle
sunday: dragon's gold, boggle, quiddler

and all of the gaming was with good friends, relaxing.

plus i got to hear greg greenway at passim saturday night.

and i went out for shabbat lunch (first shabbat meal out in ages), where i got to hold a not-quite-1-month-old baby :-) (his dad says he's nearing the big point oh eight... what a math geek.)

i didn't manage to attack more of the mess in my apt sunday, but i was hanging out with friends, which is rather more fun. (perhaps i shall manage to do useful things to my apt tonight.)
magid: (Default)
this weekend was full of them.

a quiet shabbat at home, reading (the best of which was The Shadow of the
by Orson Scott Card, truly a gifted writer). it was the first
night in a long long time by myself; it was good to have a break.

saturday night (ok, i almost wrote motza'i shabbat, which is the same thing,
essentially) cthulhia and queue and i went to see the 2nd night of a
festival of 10-minute plays (some of them were a bit longer...), which was a
lot of fun. some were merely ok, while others were great. and boggle
happened afterwards, and i managed to win some :-).

today was totally scheduled (i really have to return some phone calls some
day, some time when i'm home at a reasonable hour....), a visit from queue
followed by Gosford Park at harvard sq with other friends. (no
spoilers i can think of to come) it's a beautifully done movie, all the
details just so, rather understated in dialogue, plot devices (no bashing
you over the head with conversations including direct details. lots of
innuendo used). i found the sheer number of characters a bit hard to keep
track of (10 houseguests, the host family, the myriad below-stairs

home for some (rather late) breakfast (leftover tilapia & onions. (it's a
kind of fish)), then off to cthulhia's for an epiphany of gift giving. i was
surprised & pleased with much chocolate (some from burdick's), and
(essentially) an invitation to host a (small) party, one of the how to host
a murder things.... now i have research to do on the correct sort of meal,
costume, etc; this definitely won't happen until february - january is far
too full already (at least the weekends, and i'm not going to figure out how
to fit this in on a weekday. oh, wait - there's a long weekend in january.
maybe that monday? hmmmm.). thanks to cthulhia and pheromone (also to prog -
i got to see his hair :-).
some games afterward, too. one involved smashing rats with anvils (all
cards, no real rats were used in the production of this entry), then a game
of guillotine (i finally got to play a whole game; last time (the first
time) was interrupted when the friends-in-the-hospital finally got to move
to share a room.)

but wait, the day is not done. i'd missed the jim's big ego concert cthulhia
had gotten people to go to, so she invited me along to hear him solo at a
house concert in arlington. i had a great time, crammed into a livingroom
with 25 other people to hear him sing & play guitar & recite poetry & talk
with an audience of fans...

(and now, despite tiredness, i type here. why can i not just go to bed?)


Jan. 2nd, 2002 11:43 am
magid: (Default)
at least there was some good that came out of the accident: it looks like the somewhat inoperative lock on my friends' door will be fixed.

and yesterday at the hospital i got to play 2 games i hadn't played before, aquarius and guillotine.

(always looking for silver linings....)

it looks like they get out of the hospital today :-)

mood: still tired, but more optimistic
magid: (Default)
i was so proud of making a really nice salad for lunch today (assembled at work: romaine, mesclun, scallion, halved grape tomatoes, chopped up hard boiled egg, a spicy vinaigrette made at home).
(sad, that this is the most pleasing part of my workday. (well, other than boggle. i found donuts, not to mention mavens and ravens :-))

and then there's a building-wide holiday festival-of-sugar. most of which i can't (won't? where does kosher fall in that range?) eat, except for the immediately identifiable hershey's and reese's stuff. so of course to compensate, i eat far too much really-not-exciting chocolate.

maybe the romaine will counteract the chocolate?
magid: (Default)
today's word supreme:


(and i won 2 of the usual 5 games, the second day i've managed that. (ok, one of the losses involved the other player getting over 100 points... it was a rather good board.... (i got 44, so it was less than triple my score. (just because i want more embedded parens!))))


magid: (Default)

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