June 29th, 2004

Semiformalishmaybe

Bullet Chorus

Is it a hors d'oeuvre? It's paralyzing -- how much to eat when we don'tknow what's coming.. The crumbs of the elk exceed the feast of the ant..Perhaps an old toy glimmers in the corner of the eye.. tripsthrough the washer machines have made your skin fade..A creature of the moon, closed eyes, ideals.. the gasping drowned man chokes,and we ignore, for he's in another realm. Each eye is a diamond,looking at another world that's not quite real. Luna belongs to Terra, and theharsh light of the sun touches only through proxy.

I've been thinking about midlife crises, based on some conversations. Doeseveryone get them? Are they just a moment of supreme awareness for people whosleep most of their lives? We wake in the morning, and the harsh light of dayeventually closes some of our eyes...

At work today, apparently the power supply to my old building had an overloadand exploded. All of today, and part of tomorrow, NSH will be dead. Ouch.I wonder if this is related at all to the new building construction, or theother recent failures the CS department has been having.

With luck, I'll be climbing again tonight, if I can get enough people together.Hurrah.

Semiformalishmaybe

Biter Butter Snake Batter

Ahh.. another thing to remember not to do -- don't invite people to rockclimbing on days when it's already too late to take the class. Even if oneremembers before driving there (as today), it still gets their hopes up,and that's no fun. Right now, I'm hoping one of my climbing friends callssoon -- I can't get in touch with any of them, and don't really want toboulder.

Two bits of news from Al Jazeera.. first, Saddam is going home.As my conversation with a Frenchman yesterday prodded, I think I've come to theconclusion that Saddam Hussein wasn't bad for Iraq -- quite the contrary. Iraqis part of the, from my perspective, primitive parts of the world, with aregressive, dangerous worldview, so my expectations for it are quite low, butgiven the qualities of the masses and the politics of the area, it may be thata better system that's stable is not yet possible there. Saddam, like Tito,did an admirable job keeping the country together, achieving relative stabilityin a country with internal divisions far more different than ours. His actions,even the killings and other things that bring us great revulsion, bear thoseaims out. Not everything he has done can be excused, nor would I want to livein such a primitive place, but he has actually surpassed the low standards Ihave for that region. This present American experiment in establishing a moreadvanced government there will prove interesting. The stakes are high -- itwould be a disaster if Islamic law were to be introduced in Iraq.. a regression.Perhaps the Americans will succeed, or perhaps things will corrupt and fallapart. I consider it to be a stupid risk to have taken, but I watch with thesame skeptical interest that no doubt was similarly present in those watchingto see if/how communism could be established in relatively backwards countrieswithout disaster. Perhaps a better job will be done in this experiment. Ifit fails, I hope that Saddam can be restored to power.

The second story is that Disney is apparently to release a feel-goodpropogandafilm, perhaps meant to be in the context of Moore's F911 film. Interesting.

Semiformalishmaybe

Not Keesh

I couldn't reach anyone to climb with, so instead, I decided to try to cook.I present to you a recipe from someone who is not a cook and probably has nocooking skill, for a food he has not even eaten yet. Here is...

NOT KEESHRecipe by Pat GunnMAY BE DANGEROUS

Ingredients:Chaumes CheeseSpinach of the Ages (read: spinach that's been a frozen block in my freezer for who knows how long, likely more than 3 months, at least 1)Indian-spiced TofuOlive OilLime JuiceGarlic Salt

Instructions:Pour some olive oil in a pan, sprinkling it with olive oil. Set stove onmedium, wait for it to begin to make a sound. Drop in the tofu, and let itbegin to brown. When somewhat brown, place frozen spinach in pan, moving tofu ontop. Squirt some lime juice to the side of the spinach. Begin rotating spinachto prevent burnt spinach. Add oil. After some of it has detached from the frozenblock, put a chunk of chaumes on the tofu. Keep rotating, as rest of spinachslowly comes off the block, leaving the tofu on progressively smaller grounds.Eventually, as platform gets smaller, let chaumes into the sea of spinach, andlet it melt, mixing it in well. As tofu falls into spinach, move it to thebottom to let it finish cooking, rotating frequently to avoid burning. A bitafter the block is entirely gone and all spinach is at least warm, with cheesemixed in, pour the thing into a bowl and serve.