Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

Vasodilation

March 8, 2019

(References in later sections to men’s bodies and mansex, sometimes in plain terms; that material is not suitable for kids or the sexually modest. First, though, some pressure music and some stuff about blood pressure.)

Two things that happened to come together: my blood pressure readings of 97/59 on Wednesday, 105/57 yesterday; and an Out magazine story “Lucille Ball Did Poppers to Ease Chest Pains, Says New Show” by Mathew Rodriguez yesterday. The connection being that poppers trigger a (temporary) signficant drop in blood pressure.

If you don’t know what the poppers in question are (maybe you’re thinking of fried stuffed jalapeño peppers), don’t be alarmed; it will eventually become clear.

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The cable gremlins

March 7, 2019

(A version of things I posted on Facebook earlier today about my life, with glancing allusions to various phenomena of social life. Posted here to have a more permanent and accessible record, on WordPress. There will be a little bit of linguistics.)


(#1) (Not an accurate portrayal of Xfinity/Comcast staff)

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F-sharp

February 28, 2019

(Mostly music. I know you’re thinking: Jesse Sheidlower wrote “The F Word”, and now it looks like I’m writing on “The F Sharp Word” — like the F word, only more pointed. But no. No sex, and barely anything to do with language. But you’ll have to endure Antonio Soler and Muzio Clementi.)

From the lgbt+ neighborhood on Facebook, in a discussion that started with ukuleles — there was actually some convoluted lgbt-relevance in that — and turned to accordions (plus some bagpipe stuff), whereupon I spoke approvingly of Astor Piazolla’s music as performed on accordions and even more of Antonio Soler’s keyboard music (in particular his sonatas for various keyboard instruments, including the organ) as arranged for accordion. Adding that Joseph Petrič has wonderful recordings of some of the sonatas on accordion (I have his 1997 CD).

Jeff Shaumeyer responded:

Oh, I particularly like the F♯ Major sonata — it strikes me as rather silly, and *who* writes in F♯ major anyway?

And that set me off.

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The great work begins

February 24, 2019

(two morning names, of very different type)

Yesterday morning I came to consciousness slowly slowly, as a voice filled my head with the exulting declaration:


(#1) Society6 art print: The Great Work Begins by Maxfield and Madison

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A walk up Emerson St.

February 23, 2019

… in Palo Alto, this morning, for breakfast with Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky. Which took me past a fitness club that closed down a while back, but is now in the process of being replaced by an even trendier sort of fitness club, Rumble Boxing; to the Palo Alto Creamery for breakfast, where I picked up the weekend edition of the Peninsula Daily Post; which had a front-page story on the fate of the artwork Digital DNA, originally installed just a bit further up Emerson St.

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Presidents Day weekend in Berkeley

February 16, 2019

A bit of personal and intellectual history, having to do with the fact that there was a period of years when on the Friday before Presidents Day my husband-equivalent Jacques Transue and I would drive from Palo Alto to Berkeley for the annual meeting of the BLS, the Berkeley Linguistics Society, then held in Dwinelle Hall at UCB over the three-day weekend. (It has since moved its dates to less crowded times during winter quarter.)

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In the diaspora

February 12, 2019

An announcement yesterday on the Linguistic Typology mailing list:

After three conferences in Bamberg [Germany] (2013), Mardin [southeastern Turkey, in Turkish Kurdistan] (2014) and Amsterdam [Netherlands] (2016), we are delighted to announce that the 4th International Conference on Kurdish Linguistics (ICKL-4) will take place at the University of Rouen (Université de Rouen) [France] on September 2-3, 2019.

Three meetings in the Kurdish diaspora, in the countries in Europe with the largest populations of displaced Kurds, plus one within Kurdistan itself.

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The natural history of snowclones

February 1, 2019

The title of an abstract of mine for the 20th Stanford SemFest (Semantics Festival), to take place on March 15th and 16th (the Ides of March and National Panda Day, respectively). The SemFests feature reports (primarily 20-minute presentations, plus 10-minute question periods)

on recent work on any topic touching on meaning broadly construed, ranging from traditional topics in semantics and pragmatics to social meaning to natural language understanding and beyond

This posting is primarily about my snowclone paper, but there will also be some very personal reflections on the conference and its significance in my academic life.

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Being cardioverted

January 24, 2019

I was cardioverted on Wednesday the 28th of November. It was supposed to take an hour to an hour and a half, but took more like 4 hours, though the actual cardioversion bit was only a few minutes. For a while I no longer experienced persistent atrial flutter or any atrial fibrillation (though I know this only by looking — frequently — at a pulse oximeter, not from monitoring my perceptions of my body, which has never once spoken to me about irregularities in my heartbeat).

From the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary:

verb cardiovert: to subject to cardioversion // cardioverted the patient to sinus rhythm

noun cardioversion: application of an electric shock in order to restore normal heartbeat

(A kind of cousin to the defibrillation you have become accustomed to seeing on tv medical dramas.)

Advance warning: if at any point in this posting, you feel the urge to suggest a line of medical diagnosis or to offer me advice about what I should be doing, stifle that urge. If you give in to it (despite your ignorance of a grotesquely complex medical history, some of it stretching back over 50 years), you will be introducing entirely unwelcome complications into a life that has been largely devoted to medical matters for many months now, matters that are driving me frequently to despair. You will be saying, forget about coping with things, listen to my ideas and respond to me; you will become another part of the problem.

I am not asking for help. I am not asking for advice. I am offering some explanation for my frequent inattention to this blog. And I’m telling you my story, for whatever use you can make of it for yourself. I’m also complaining, in the belief that complaining for its own sake, especially to people who are in no way responsible for caring for you, can be therapeutic. A sympathetic murmur is the most such complaints should elicit.

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Penguin bearing wild strawberries

January 23, 2019

It was a little Christmas present for me from Opal Armstrong Zwicky, reported on in my 12/26/18 posting “Four presents”:

a bit of nearly indescribable Japanese kawaii that involves a little self-watering ceramic penguin that grows wild strawberry plants (Fragaria vesca) on its back

The ceramic penguin has been perched on the edge of one of my man Jacques’s mugs — one with his name on it — in the window of my kitchen. And now:

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