Archive for the 'coralie++' Category

a curious thought

Monday, September 15th, 2008

“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.”
— Agatha Christie

I would only add that this happens too when playing an ongoing game of email signature tag with someone and getting one like the above. Other favorites include:

“Lord, beer me strength”
Jim [from The Office]

IRC, the forgetting of things past, self and others

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

The stream of thought flows on; but most of its segments fall into the bottomless abyss of oblivion. Of some, no memory survives the instant of their passage. Of others, it is confined to a few moments, hours or days. Others, again, leave vestiges which are indestructible, and by means of which they may be recalled as long as life endures.

-William James

I saw the above quote today and I’ve thought many times how strange it is that some memories remain and recur so frequently while others fade to nothing or are only vaguely grasped at the corners.

There are things which reoccur to me semi-frequently for no reason that I can think of: snatches of song, bits of books, movies, memories which echo around in my head. They’re not necessarily about important events or profound or particularly funny. Often they occur to me in my in-between times when I’m not thinking but doing something routine — brushing my teeth, showering, etc. Some memories are, I suspect, distorted or blurred and many old ones gather and drag other new thoughts and associations along like hooks on ropes dangling below a slow boat – sometimes new bits of detritus get attached while others drop away.

I am used to a certain level of lack of a sense of solid ‘self’ even though (or perhaps one might argue, because) I am such an introverted person. In the famous “You can’t step in the same river twice” way I know the me that had the experiences I remember (imprecisely, with distortions, the old being cast into shadows by new thoughts and new knowledges) is not the same me as now.

What William James couldn’t take into account was how technology can in some ways flatten out the abyss. Some things aren’t necessarily lost but merely a few keystrokes away if you want them — provided you have good back-ups (though of course there’s always the option to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind /delete things too).

I’ve noticed when searching IRC logs to confirm a phrase or find an old link that I’m sometimes surprised to read something and realize it was me saying it. It’s not necessarily that I disagree now with the me from then but more a kind of bemusement in realizing it seems alien, like something someone else thought and said. I have those “How am I not myself?” moments often enough already and to read the words of a self from which I am disconnected by time and imprecise memory is a curious feeling.

I just spent an hour or so re-reading weeks and months in the past from my IRC logs. I don’t think that I have a particularly good sense of how I appear to others so it ended up being interesting to read myself as a mostly dispassionate observer. In my every day life I worry I complain a lot, and well, yes, I do complain and I know that I go through periods of sadness or just plain crankiness but I noticed other things too like that I quite often make jokes — though why this should be surprising to me I am not sure.

I often (and I’m kind of embarrassedly aware of this too) ramble or expound on a theory or just natter. I think what I didn’t see as clearly before is how most of my friends more often that not respond in an interested way to most things I yammer about as easily and unconcernedly as I am interested in what they say (of course I’m interested, they’re very interesting people!).

I’m really struck by what wonderful, clever, funny and kind friends I have and how lucky I am. It’s fascinating to re-read old conversations and jokes, to re-live little joys and sorrows, to see some circumstances of our current lives first mentioned or wondered at, to see how old pains or worries or angers have faded away (or how they haven’t) and to see the day-by-day links of our friendships of years. I’ve long know how much these conversations meant to me, how interesting and funny and poignant they were (and every so often exclaimed: “You should blog this!” but that the same time, knew that it was likely no one would because, well, it had been said and understood already, why repeat it elsewhere?) but now I realize that we have been writing a kind of book of our lives minute-by-minute and that it is actually pretty amazing.

Things that made me smile again today (Kitty kitty kitty kitty kitty! (for Coco))

Friday, October 12th, 2007


KITTY KITTY KITTY KITTY KITTY KITTY KITTY KITTY KITTY KITTY!!!

From the uncyclopedia entry on ADHD,

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disease characterised by a person’s inability to focus on something for OMG A KITTY!!! I LOVE KITTIES.

This clearly characterizes my uh… focus levels… yes, focus levels…. um… today.

Things I saw lately (the chicken dance/all roads lead to pirates, matey)

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

In a work conversation with Coralie a week or so ago (yes, well, it started out about work anyway), she suggested requiring someone to do the “Danse des Canards” in front of the whole team as a completely reasonable consequence for causing some work inconvenience (pirate!). I wasn’t entirely sure what the “Danse des Canards” was, though it sounded like it had great potential as retribution so she showed me this:

“The chicken dance!” I replied. Now was my turn to educate her to ways of polka which all Pennsylvanians are subjected (at least those who grew up in the sticks like me) and the surreal world of Lawrence Welk, which still haunts my subconscious long after the times when, as a child, careless adults exposed my little eyes to miles of chiffon, beehives and accordions.

For those of you brought up without the exposure to the heady world of high culture in which I was raised as a child, here’s a how-to (a one and a two):

“Beaks… wings… tail feathers and four claps!” I told Coralie that it’s common to do the dance at weddings. I’ll skip over the part where Coralie asked me if I’ve ever done the chicken dance (or at least the part where I answer). She then showed me this video mash up of Jack Sparrow and the chicken dance – is it any wonder I like her so much? (we both love how he runs waving his arms in the cave):

Now just try to get that song out of your head :) Enjoy!

Things I saw today: Country-line worshipping

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

On the way to the shops today I walked past a church. The windows and doors were open, giving me a good view inside, but also allowing the extremely loud music to escape.

What I saw was about 50 church-goers country-line dancing to the Scissor Sisters “I don’t feel like dancing”.

It’s obviously a progressive church that would dance to a band with openly gay members, named after a lesbian sex position, and with songs that worship hedonism and drug use. I wonder many of the dancers knew, or cared. As a Scissor Sisters fan, I hope they all did.

Not really related, but my current favourite TV show, Friday Night Lights, has a character who forms a religious death metal band called Crucifictorious. Evidently they were thinking of naming it Stigmatalingus. Awesome.

Things I downloaded today (typewriter keyboard)

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Found by Coralie and filed under “absolutely awesomely fun things to play with and/or ‘how to drive your office mate mental”; Typewriter Keyboard for mac makes old typewriter noises when you type