ursula: (Default)
[personal profile] wild_irises wrote, Tell me about a personal event that is a treasured or meaningful memory.

I thought this prompt was interesting for the meta-journal reason that it initially seemed impossible, due to some combination of the attitude that ideas are more interesting to write about than events, and a superstitious feeling that if I'm going around treasuring past events too often, there is probably something wrong with the present.

But actually, 2013 was eventful, perhaps excessively so! I have only glancingly mentioned the fact that I spent four weeks at research workshops this fall, in Toronto, England, and France. This was both fortuitous and overwhelming. The French workshop was Women in Numbers-Europe, so named for its excellent acronym. It was held at CIRM, which is in the hills above Marseille. Adriana and I had a free day in the city after the workshop ended. We decided to take the ferry to the Chateau d'If, which is the fortress in the Count of Monte Cristo. It's a big, white, squarish castle, set on its own island in the middle of the bay. I took an informational pamphlet in French, and Adriana took one in English. The French pamphlet, and only the French one, explained that Francis I was inspired to order the castle's construction when he visited Marseille to see a rhinoceros, which was stopping in the city on its way to the Pope. I bought a T-shirt with the rhinoceros for [personal profile] glasseye.

2013-10-19 14.00.46

On the ferry trip back, we sat on the front deck. We were surrounded by a raucous group of French middle-school girls, who were singing folk songs and hip-hop in loud voices, and trying to dodge the spray. When they discovered we lived in America, they conducted a bilingual interview with us (their English was about as bad as our French). The results were as follows:

  • Do you like hamburgers? (Sometimes.)
  • Do you like fish? (Yes.)
  • Which do you like better, Marseille or Paris? (I have never been to Paris.)
  • Are you in love? (Yes, I have a husband.)
  • What is his name? (Brian.)
  • Have you been to New York? (Yes, my sister lives there.)
  • Have you been to California? (Yes, I used to live there.)
  • Have you met a movie star? (No, but I have friends who work in Hollywood.)
ursula: (Default)
Suggest a topic, and I'll post about it in January? (You can suggest a day if you like; otherwise I'll just use topics until they're gone.)


Mar. 11th, 2008 10:29 pm
ursula: (icosahedron)
[livejournal.com profile] aelfgyfu asked for a post about gaming. I'm assuming that, like any right-minded individual, she means tabletop RPGs. At the moment I don't have a game going ([livejournal.com profile] glasseye's campaign seems to have succumbed to the dual pressures of school and players who insist on gallivanting round the world). I keep meaning to run a couple of sessions of GURPS Goblins, but this involves either doing a bunch of arithmetic so my players can make characters without ripping my single set of books apart or feeling their heads explode, or else figuring out how to port the entire setting to a less arithmetically demanding system without losing the basic idea of a character built entirely from disadvantages.

[livejournal.com profile] cattifer and I have talked a little bit about doing a D&D-themed webcomic. I've been thinking a little bit about how one might set up a literal dwarven point of view, with humans disconcerting and monolithic.
ursula: (Default)
From [livejournal.com profile] ornerie:

Everyone has things they post about. Everyone has things they don't post about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't mention often, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post.
ursula: (sheep)
[livejournal.com profile] tejolote also asked me to "Talk about visual experience, how that works for you."

I remember things, both real and imagined, in still images with a definite point of view. I can fail to recognize a building or a person because my mental snapshot was taken from a different angle. If I'm thinking slowly, or trying to understand a foreign language, I echo inner monologue and outer dialogue as text. This is visual memory, not visual experience, but anyone who has spoken to me in person has no doubt observed that I'm terrible at separating the two. It's very difficult for me to remain aware of the world around me for any continuous length of time: if I try too hard, I'll start analyzing my own effort, faces or books will float before me, and I'll be lost again. It's possible that those intensely remembered images are simply the moments that I looked where my eyes were pointing . . .
ursula: (sheep)
I've noticed two basic attitudes toward posting to livejournal: that one really ought to do so more often, in order to keep in touch with one's friends, or alternatively that posting involves succumbing to the urge to tell one's tale the livelong day to an admiring bog & should be kept severely in check. I'm generally of the second opinion,1 but sometimes I waver. Thus, a meme:

Give me a topic-- geekish, political, religious, whatever-- and I'll post about it. Maybe a sentence, maybe a paragraph, maybe a multi-part post complete with pie charts... IF YOU'RE LUCKY.2

1 With regard to my own posts. Everyone else should post constantly.

2 Given the advanced degree in mathematics, one would think I could do better than pie charts. But mathematicians and for that matter theoretical physicists subscribe to the one-two-three-conjecture model of data analysis.

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