1. Copy and paste your LJ Friends List into an update and leave behind an LJ Cut.

2. If you've met them in person or otherwise know them from the offline world, bold their screenname. If you've only talked to them on the phone, italicize their name. If you've only talked to them online, leave their name alone. If you have someone on your Friends List who has multiple LJ's, only use one and get rid of the rest from the list. If you met them in person first, underline their name.

3. Post and let other people copy the meme.

Cut because I follow memes with sheepish precision. )
Wishing the happiest of happy birthdays to my one and only sire!
Personally, I think the more significant anniversary would be of the day he was spawned, two days hence, but as by then I'll be on a boat and perhaps not quite as broadbandy, I'll grudgingly acknowledge that [livejournal.com profile] atpotch might have reason to celebrate today. And so I'll join in wishing one of the wisest and best friends I have a happy birthday!
I'm out the door for the huge freaking trip through the Baltic sea and up the Norwegian coast. My connectivity will be spotty for the next five weeks (!) though if I can find WiFi broadband in the middle of the Libyan desert, Talinn ought to have no secrets from me. Still, I expect that there might soon be a few posts that contain (the one true marker of LJ quality) mentions of me; I would appreciate it if people would make some small effort to ensure that I do not miss those.
I think this was the first ATPo Gathering at which people called each other by their given names more often than by their posting names. One could argue that this signifies greater bonds of intimacy growing across what had been a rather anonymous medium, or one could mention that going from the Board to LJ means that we have trouble dealing with the plethora of polynyms -- I, for one, can never keep that [livejournal.com profile] c_mantix/Aquitaine/Lorraine stuff straight (especially since the dead useful "El" has been recently repossessed by its original referent). I certainly believe that there was this year an even greater closeness among us, and not just the eight of us sharing that one shower. (Not at the same time.) I surprised myself a few times opening up to people; I'd like to thank [livejournal.com profile] atpotch and [livejournal.com profile] ann1962 in particular for their patience and empathy, though I have to acknowledge that where it counted most I fell back into my own deathly taciturnity. I also surprised myself by stepping past my usual reservations and self-consciousness and singing lustily along to "Once More With Feeling," though it did not help my confidence at all when [livejournal.com profile] masqthephlsphr, sitting directly to my front, started complaining about her headache and muttering to [livejournal.com profile] cactuswatcher darkly something about flatness. Considering that I was pleased when I managed to end a line in the same key in which it began, I'm afraid flatness too optimistically suggests that my voice and the music were even in the same three-dimensional space. Now that I've ruined what pleasant memories people have of the musical, next year I'm sure there will be raised a hue and a cry for the audience-participation airing of "Hush," just to guarantee I keep my mouth shut for forty-two minutes.

But I get ahead of myself. I left Cleveland last Wednesday evening on a delayed night flight to San Francisco; by the time I'd rented the car and driven to the hotel it was 2:15 California time, or about six hours past my bedtime. I did take a perfunctory earful at the door TCH, Rob ([livejournal.com profile] buffyannotater) and [livejournal.com profile] scrollgirl were staying behind, trying to pick up any spawnful burbles, but luckily reached it during a rare lull and resignedly retreated to retire. Thursday morning, I reach the breakfast room in time to meet [livejournal.com profile] atpolittlebit, [livejournal.com profile] ladystarlightsj and Aqui, who has brazenly taken someone else's hash browns. We talk of much, and confirm that my Zachary's fetish will hold sway for our lunch plans. We then go wake the kids. I had worried about making the long drive to Tahoe without company, but TCH agreed to do his spawnial duty and ride with me. And once all got a gander of the red Dodge Charger muscle car I was driving, there was much envy and jealousy, which kept being expressed through the stuffing of spare luggage into what became known as its three-body trunk. Rob slid into the back and we roared north on 101 )
Having landed at Cleveland Hopkins at eight this morning, dozing through only one disc of Aaron Copland and some of "Bring the Noise," and coming after two straight nights of no more than four hours of sleep and a solid week of no more than six, I'm far too exhausted to write a recapitulation of the 2006 ATPo Gathering with concision, coherency or tact. Will I persevere through anyway? Perhaps; I keep floundering wading in the littorals of this post, rather than just diving deeply in. But what washes over me currently is sleep, and what sentiments I might bubble out burst before they breach my placid surface. And I'm half-tempted now to swap the ATPo icon for one of my SCUBA ones, so I will quit before my only public recollection of the Gathering becomes my snide spite at the painting at the seafood restaurant that paired a (Caribbean) Queen Angelfish with an (Indo-Pacific) Clown Trigger. That would be paralipsis, by the way, and for tonight the rest will be ellipsis . . .
I suppose I'm not going to write that substantial update I'd been planning before I leave for Tahoe. Oh, well, I had something planned about nostalgia. Speaking of which, I wonder if Jane Austen wasn't the correct high-toned author to whom to turn in my current mood of happy self-recrimination. And since I'm looking for dense doorstops to carry on the great Northern Europe expedition, the question arises: which translation of Proust should I favor? I'll get to ask [livejournal.com profile] atpotch that in person, won't I, in just twelve or so hours. And other people, of course, some of who might even have opinions on the subject.

And speaking of the great Northern Europe expedition, if you would like a postcard from the top of the world, or at least 79° North Latitude, send your address to dherblay at livejournal.com!
As seen, by now, everywhere, the meme du jour:

Leave your name, and:

1. I'll respond with something random about you
2. I'll challenge you to try something
3. I'll pick a color that I associate with you
4. I'll tell you something I like about you
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of
7. I'll ask you something I've always wanted to ask you
8. If I do this for you, you must post this on your LJ

I've got two challenges of my own to meet, and I'm off to the gym before it closes for Shavuot, so number two won't be "hold your breath waiting for me to respond."
Bitch, Ph.D., does not quit smoking:
Don't congratulate me, please.

Because, in defiance of all the crappy advice out there about how to quit smoking, I did not set a "quit date"; I did not get rid of my lighters (or even the empty packs, which are still sitting in the porch); I did not tell anyone I was doing it. (Mr. B. didn't notice for three days.) In fact, I did not decide to quit, and I don't think I actually am quitting.

What I think is this. 1) Having run out of the brand of cigarettes I prefer last Wednesday; 2) being unable to get them in Tinytown; and 3) not having a car that's reliable enough to drive to Big City, I am A) too goddamn lazy to take a bus in order to buy fucking cigarettes; B) too goddamn picky to continue to spend money on crappy smokes; and C) too stubborn to allow myself to smoke for any reason but pleasure. Oh, and PK started bugging me to quit a while back, and I told him I would.
This is almost (except for the influnce of a pseudonymous kid) exactly how I ended up quitting smoking. The grocery store which I habituated for its low price on Winstons as much as for its convenience closed, and I was too obstinately stingy to pay drugstore prices for cartons, and too lazy to figure out where the next cheapest merchant was. And, indeed, the first serious temptation I've had in a year was when I saw a gas station here in Memphis advertising cartons at twenty-four dollars. I could party like it's 1997!
So I need to get myself back to the point of being a "social smoker." Which means not smoking lame cigarettes just for the sake of smoking. Only smoking one or two occasionally, when I'm out with someone who happens to have my brand (yes, I know that "social smokers" are the bane of real smokers everywhere, but tough shit: I've always been a generous smoker to my "non-smoking" friends, so now my smoking friends can be generous to me). Only buying a pack my own goddamn self once in a blue, blue moon and then making it last for a couple of weeks.
Of course, I was better positioned than Dr. B. for the next important step: not having friends.

Meanwhile, over at Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen presents his symmetry thesis, which is cheering and jovial and possibly entirely wrong; I'm quite taken with the phrase "low-key intertemporal seduction."
One hundred sixty-three and one-half pounds (163½ lbs). Write that down; it's apparently the lowest I'm ever going to weigh. I was feeling blah all day because for the first time in a couple of weeks I'd missed my morning hour on the exercycle, so after some retail therapy I decided to take my evening walk/jog early. I stretch for ten minutes and then open the door, finding a package waiting for me. [livejournal.com profile] ann1962 had sent me presents! A comic! which made me happy but also tasty, yummy, possibly fattening presents! Well, I have to be gracious; I owe it to Ann not to delay trying the cookies over which she so assiduously labored. And it was so good I had to try another. Reluctantly I pulled myself away and started out jogging with the taste of chocolate in my mouth. Ann rocks! (but of course you knew that) and I roly-pole.

Once I'd roly-poled back to the house, ears frozen from the cold and contracting sinuses starting to pull apart my brain, I did my cool-down stretches and hopped into the steam bath. I feel a whole lot better now, though pretty damn tired and dehydrated and somewhat disassociative. I'm going to go disassociate now and maybe put some cookies out of temptation and into the freezer.
Slightly shoddy research has led me to determine that the day I was born was the last day of the Chinese lunar year (of the boar), as well as the penultimate day of A.H. 1391. (The Chinese calendar begins its lunar months on the astronomical new moons, while the Islamic calendar delays a day and a half or two until somebody sharp-eyed sees the crescent moon in the evening sky. In fact, it's very hard to tell which day was the penultimate day of the year until the year is actually over.) So, as soon as the sun goes down, I'll be celebrating both my Chinese and Islamic birthdays! I must say I like the synergy of the convergence -- I think it happens only twice every thirty-three years.

And to share the celebrations, let me get an early start and wish everyone happy Chinese Lunar and Islamic New Years. (How come every year when Rosh Hashanah rolls around, I see people saying, "Happy Rosh Hashanah to all my Jewish friends, including [livejournal.com profile] dlgood, [livejournal.com profile] graffitiandsara, and [livejournal.com profile] buffyannotater!" but I have never once seen anyone say, "Happy Chinese New Year to [livejournal.com profile] scrollgirl and [livejournal.com profile] deevalish"?) And happy early socially-hegemonic Gregorian birthdays to [livejournal.com profile] wisewoman and [livejournal.com profile] scrollgirl! Parties all around!
Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] deadsoul820! I ought to write some fanfic, just to resume the pleasures of having DS beta-read.

ETA: And due to the rotation of the Earth, I can now wish [livejournal.com profile] zargon10 a happy birthday as well!
Happy Summer Solstice to all my antipodean friends, especially [livejournal.com profile] angels_nibblet, [livejournal.com profile] habibti, [livejournal.com profile] sidherian, and (in absentia) [livejournal.com profile] nzraya!!!
Are they separated at birth or just both former students at the same Shaolin monastery?


I have a pair of questions, probably most answerable by [livejournal.com profile] atpotch.

First, from Sunday's Everyman: "Metal grille in neat pub (4,3)." B_L_ B_R. I want to say "bald bar," but can't find any evidence that this is an actual phrase. This is the final light! Help me rage, rage against its dying! (Hmmm . . . now I'm onto "bull bar," which makes no obvious sense on two entirely separate levels.)

Second, if we are to have a London meet-up, is it left to me to organize it?
Go say hello to [livejournal.com profile] rebekahroxanna, who has some thoughts on Jesus, forgiveness, reconciliation and Georgia Tech.
Happy birthday wishes for [livejournal.com profile] aliera_!!!

I think I got the tag right; things change so quickly around here.

I was thinking about birthdays the other day. I had a great deal of success finding [livejournal.com profile] lynnmonster with only a hunch that she might be on LJ, so I've been trying to replicate that success with other people from my past. I've been completely stymied in this pursuit, though, so I've been looking for better strategies. It struck me that people may represent themselves under names I'm not familiar with, they may change their locations and their interests, but their birthdays will be the dates I remember (not that I was ever that good at remembering them). Unfortunately, birthdate is a category not provided by LJ's Directory Search. But then I remembered the trusty old Google site search. All of a sudden I had hundreds of possibilities -- the vast majority of which I could dismiss without ever leaving the page.

I didn't have any success with this new technique (I tried only one birthdate), but it did lead me to investigate my own friends (which is what reminded me that [livejournal.com profile] aliera_ lists today as her birthday) -- and I was surprised to discover how few of my friends list a birthdate in their user infos. Having just attempted (and failed) to stalk people by this very feature, I can understand people's reluctance to put such a clear identifier on the internet. My reasoning was much more hopefully paranoid -- I figured that including my birthdate might encourage people to buy me stuff. (They're all out to get me . . . presents!)

But what most surprised me, for some reason, was that three of my LJ friends were born on September 11th.
For [livejournal.com profile] masqthephlsphr:

As you've requested. (Took me 4 minutes, 17 seconds. I have a stopwatch! Isn't that fascinating?)
My friends are too generous!

Well, [livejournal.com profile] masqthephlsphr, anyway.

Thanks, Masq! I really appreciate it! Now I just have to figure out what to do with all those slots. I'm sure I'll enjoy the process! Whee! Icons!

(By the way, I really wasn't wheedling in the post that inspired this gift. I was afraid after writing it that I came across as angling for someone to spontaneously grant me icon space, which is not at all what I was aiming for. But now that someone has spontaneously granted me icon space, I do appreciate it!)

Whee!

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