Posts tagged with "musings"
Sunday, August 24, 2008 11:42:33 AM
I drive fast, probably in response to my dad's unbearably slow driving habit. Or simply perhaps because I like it. I feel I have to say I'm prudent and I've never been in an accident. I've been driving for 13 years.
Last week there was a Gendarmerie unmarked car parked on the side of the road, with a small radar attached at the back of it, to measure I was above the speed limit. The flash shone just as I was realizing what the suspicious protuberance at the back of the car might me. I had no idea how fast I was driving, and there was no other car in front or behind to give me some perspective on speed. I felt I was driving at a reasonable speed :)
A week later I received by post the "avis de contravention au code de la route". 97 km/h (60 mph). That is 7 km/h (4 mph) above the limit. The fine is EUr 68 but only EUR 45 if I pay within 2 weeks. If I don't pay within 45 days, then it's EUR 180.
So I've been thinking about speed, speed limit, common good sense and that kind of things.
My denial of responsibility didn't last long, but my first reaction was to find somebody to blame for the flash. And that was the person I had been stuck behind for too long, right before I was able to pass them and speed up a bit. This guy was driving well below the speed limit. I've always been pretty annoyed with people driving below the speed limit, now they *upset* me.
I thought also that I was disappointed (ashamed, even) to enter the public record for such an unremarkable performance! It's possible that my speedometer indicated I was driving as fast as 110 km/h. But still. I was reminded of the French comics "Joe Barr Team". One of the bikers brings his ticket to the police, visibly unhappy, telling them their friggin' radar is borken. He was driving way faster in that curve :) No, really, it's disappointing. Especially considering I could have driven up to 20 km/h above the limit for the same fine!
Saturday, July 26, 2008 2:45:03 PM
An ambitious title for such a small consideration, really.
A while ago, a colleague of mine and I were reflecting on the numerous things we forget about our babies and how these moments, as they happen, seem unforgettable.
I am glad I log many facts on Adrien's life (among which, his blog), and there are the photos I take and the videos too.
Saturday, May 31, 2008 3:09:41 PM
Sometimes yardworking is no bed of Roses. And sometimes, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. What kind of yarkworker are you? The kind to
Beat around the bush?
Shake like a leaf?
Hold out an olive branch?
Nip in the bud?
Go the whole nine yards?
Dig the dirt?
Not let the grass grow under your feet?
Be out of your tree?
Not see the wood for the trees?
And when you're done, do you come out smelling of roses?
Thursday, May 29, 2008 9:14:43 AM
Many years ago I remember someone often said "E pericoloso sposersi" and laughed. I asked what it meant and was told it was a pun in Italian and that it meant that it was dangerous to get married.
I didn't understand why it was dangerous to get married, nor did I understand what was laughable about it. But nevermind, as the adult world was still very foreign to me.
Years later I was in an Italian train and spotted a notice by a window: "E pericoloso sporgersi" which meant it was dangerous to lean out of the window. Aha. Now it made sense!
However the mystery remains ; what made this person often say "E pericoloso sposersi" and laugh? Perhaps he had an omnipresent wife...
Saturday, May 10, 2008 11:42:34 AM
I am attached to smells for the memories they bring.
The smell of fig trees reminds me of my first time in Corsica, as a child, as I was visiting my aunt. Her house is in the mountains, in a small village. The sweet and powdery smell of fig trees was everywhere on the path around the village. I was 10 years old and I hadn't smelled fig trees before. It's unrelated to smells but I hadn't seen donkeys before either and I "met" them during this holiday. One even stepped on my toe and I thought the animal was heavy but I would have imagined the resulting pain to be bigger.
The yellow Dop shampoo brings me back to a summer in the late 80s or possibly in the early 90s. I was around 15 years old. I was at my grand-parents' house in the country (Bévenais, Isère). The fresh smell reminds me of counting goldfish in the little pond and petting the neighbour's kittehs. Madame Guidy had named one of them "Kitty" after my suggestion. Thinking about this moment brings back memories of being impressed by the powerful car of my grand-father and enjoying how fast he was driving, compared to my father. I'm also reminded of hanging my towel to dry out the window and being lectured by my grand-father that this was not Italy and to please, bring that towel back in the bathroom immediately. How peculiar that was considering there was no neighbour or passer-by to see that towel hanging. Of "inside the house", I have few memories. Oddly enough the clearest is that of the water closet. A fantastic and interesting hiding place. It had windows on all three sides of the room and although there wasn't much happening in the garden I remember I liked to stay there and watch, and think. Also the little room was home to the collection of Readers' Digest. I was reading them for hours as we had no magazines at home. I was very often ordered to vacate the facility ;) I also remember helping my grand-mother with some chores, like doing the dishes. We were to clean them before putting them in the dish-washer (go figure), and we were to dry them thoroughly afterwards.
The fragrance of Pleasures, by Estée Lauder, makes me travel back to Edinburgh in Scotland, some 12 years ago. I was wearing that perfume when I was studying there. A whiff of Pleasures and I find myself walking down Lothian Road, turning toward the restaurant Fat Sam and waiting at the bus stop to go to college. The wind was cold, so cold it was biting my ears. But the smell of the perfume was around me because of the wind. I returned to Edinburgh several times, since then, and made sure to bring the perfume with me.
The smell of the henna hair conditioner by Timotei turns instantly my bathroom into one of the shower cabins I was using in March 2005 when I was vacationing in New Zealand. For example, I often find myself in the shower block at the awesome and original Napier Prison Backpackers. One thing leading to another, at least for the duration of the hair care, I can revisit any part of New Zealand that I know from the fabulous 3-week holiday.
Of the numerous perfumes I wear, there is another one that brings me memories. L'Eau d'Issey (it sounds like "l'Odyssée") by Issey Miyake reminds me of Roslindale, of Boston, of Amy and our huge collection of good moments. I had it when I was living in the US and A and I had several others, one of which (the Rose Essentielle by Bulgari) made Amy a little nauseous (sorry!). I took L'Eau d'Issey with me to the hospital where I gave birth to Adrien, because a colleague of mine had advised me to bring a perfume that I like. Her theory being that a familiar and pleasant smell fosters wellness and good spirits. Now, the smell of this fragrance reminds me of Adrien, of his godmother Amy and of the places I was when he was growing inside me.
Sunday, March 18, 2007 4:55:10 AM
Amy and I mentioned inner worlds in a conversation the other day. Mine has music as a background. It is pretty much like the outer world, I reckon. Well, no, scratch this. It's messier.
My inner world has loads of samples of music. When I stop and think about it, I can pinpoint what song, or what melody. And I can trace why this particular one is in my head, most of the time. There is something else than music. There are sounds. Sounds that I heard. They repeat in my head until another sound worth of being repeated takes over. They are jingles. They can be short sentences too. Either ones I've just heard, or ones that I constructed myself. Either I'm practicing my side of the conversation in my head, or it's just my thoughts or bits of my thoughts that play. I move on to thinking about something else, or doing something else, and if I pause, a jingle is still playing. It's not bothering me.
But there are occasions when this is bothering me. For example, when I'm under stress and I'd love to focus on something else than the music or the jingle. Impossible. It's as though the volume is turned all the way up, and any thinking relevant to the conversation or situation at hand is banned from the setting.
In an effort to put a name on this tendency to reproduce jingles and sentences or play them in my heard, I looked up the "symptoms". The closest I found was echolalia.
Echolalia: The involuntary parrotlike repetition (echoing) of a word or phrase just spoken by another person. Echolalia is a feature of schizophrenia (especially the catatonic form), Tourette syndrome, and some other disorders. From echo + the Greek lalia, a form of speech.
In a book by Robert J. Waldinger, "Psychiatry for Medical Students", the part on "Thought Process" ( chapter four, "The Mental Status Examination") is particularly interesting. I think perseveration applies to me.
Rate and flow of idea. Patients frequently use the term racing thoughs to describe being flooded with ideas and unable to keep up with them. This condition is often seen with anxiety as well as in those with psychosis (e.g. mania, schizophrenia.)
Circumstantiality involves thinking that is indirect in reaching a goal or getting to the point. This style is common in obsessional people and in schizophrenic patients.
Blocking is a sudden obstruction or interruption on the spontaneous flow of thought, perceived by the patient as an absence or deprivation of thought. It is seen in patients with schizophrenia and in those with severe anxiety states.
Perseveration is the tendency to emit the same verbal response again and again to varied stimuli. This may range from constant repetition of one word or phrase (e.g. "night and day, night and day, night and day...") to an inabilit to shift fhe focus of conversation away from one particular topic.
Other abnormalities of though process. Abnormalities of thought process may include the following:
Neologisms are new words or condensations of several words that are not readily understood by others. This disturbance is seen in patients with schizophrenia and organic brain syndromes (e.g. a paranoid man used "plickening" to mean "the plot thickens").
Word salad is a jumble of words and phrases lacking comprehensive meaning or logical coherence. It is characteristic of patients with schizophrenia.
Echolalia is a parrotlike repetition of another person's speech. It is observed in patients with mania, among other disorders."
Now I'd love to hear about others' inner worlds :)
Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:56:51 PM
Talladega nights is an awesome movie. Amy and I watched it again last night. Sacha Baron Cohen is fantastic.
I wanted to blog about it and at the same time I didn't want to, considering my previous entry involves NASCAR. I wouldn't want people to start thinking I'm a NASCAR fan. I am not a NASCAR fan. I'll admit this just one thing: I like to drive fast and I like to think I do that well.
My favourite lines:
Ricky Bobby: Dear 8 pounds 6 ounces baby Jesus, new born, not even spoken a word yet.
Ricky Bobby: Dear little baby Jesus, who's sittin' in his crib watchin the Baby Einstein videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors. I would like to thank you for bringin' me and my moma together, and also that my kids no longer sound like retarded gang-bangers.
Jean Girard: [drinking from a small cup while driving his race car and being bumped from the back] you spilled my macchiato.
Ricky Bobby: Really, smarty-pants? What did French land give us?
Jean Girard: We invented democracy, existentialism, and the blowjob.
Herschell: Yeah? Well we invented the missionary position... You're welcome.
I'm not spoiling it anymore for you. It's hilarious, really. Well, just this one thing: I don't think you can win a race in reverse, even in the US and A.
Monday, March 12, 2007 4:26:56 AM
At brunch today (yeah, we indulged), I saw a commercial for nascar on ESPN. My reaction was "shake and bake!". Amy's reaction, after "hah!", was to wonder about the waste of fuel it was to have cars drive in circle. I couldn't argue. Amy said "you're going to say it's awesome". Yeah. I said it was a race and that the tracks were not always circles; some are oval (boring) others have curves. Pretty lame argument.
I said it had never occured to me before what a waste of fuel races were.
Later in the day I was indulging in a nap (it was a day of indulgence) and as I was drifting toward slumber, I had a mental image of a crowd of car racing spectators. The image changed to that of an arena filled with a crowd of roman gladiatorial games spectators.
In my half asleep state, I was likening nascar and gladiator fights. Further thoughts brought the following: it's still better to waste fuel than execute wild animals, slaves or criminals.
At which point, I thought I really needed to sleep.
[All about NASCAR and Gladiators on Wikipedia.]
Wednesday, March 7, 2007 7:09:44 PM
I like that the rolling paper I use is OCB and that it also stands for "Obsessive Compulsive Behavior".
Update: OCB is an acronym for Odet-Cascadec-Bolloré
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 9:11:00 PM
I swear I knew what I was going to blog about, mere moments ago. I was only missing the title. I knew I had several things to list. /me scratches head, looks confused. Damn, I should make a better use of twitter.
I could blog about ADD, mind you. Note the absence of H; "Hyperactivity" seems preposterous as far as I'm concerned.
Now, where was I?...
I wanted to share the irony of this Temperature Monitor program that I use and that seems to simply stop when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold (in this case, it was 83C/181F for the CPU A Temperature Diode). How dumb is that?
Also, I note that I have yet to hear the fans of my MacBook Pro.
There was something else...
Oh well, it probably wasn't that important. My minibreak time is up anyway.
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