Monday, April 30, 2007

Farsi of the day

The first month of the year: farvardin. It corresponds to late March and early April.

"The names of the Persian months can be quite a mouthful as they are mostly the names of Zororastrian archangels." --my text

Quote of the day

"As my wife always says, the trouble with getting old is that you spend all your time in the shop."

--a patient, who was bemoaning that he felt like a car

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Quote of the day

Me: "I'd just like to confirm your appointment for Tuesday, May the first."
Patient: "That's a whole month away, so I don't have to worry about it."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quote of the day

"They're shooting backwards at each other. It's called reverse perestroika." --the good doctor, explaining the odd behavior of myself and Becca and a large supply of the genial ammunition

Hank the Cowdog coined the term "reverse perestroika," and we just usurped it for our own purposes. :-)

After that we started discussing Boojums. Not only is the Snark a Boojum, you see, but there's a tallish cactusey thing that grows on Baja California which is also a Boojum, because the guy who named them said so. Lovely the way that works out.

Monday, April 23, 2007

MINE :-)

It was a Buick.

It was white.

I expressed doubts to the manager recommending it to me; I dislike vehicles with the turn radius of a beached whale, or even a dolphin. I had no interest in Buicks and a sort of rabid distaste for white cars. He assured me it was a Century, and thus smaller than the model I was probably thinking of. But it was within my price range, unlike the vehicle that I had just finished not buying, so I figured it was worth looking at, anyhow. So Daddy and I hopped into a something-or-other with the salesman to go see it at the other lot.

I'd spent that whole day car shopping (well, after sleeping in, feeding the cat, and on either side of eating at my favorite steak place and buying a CD at my favorite Bible book store!). The day was a trifle windy, but warm, so much warmer than some of those miserable car-shopping days earlier this year. Even when the dust blew and the grit got between my teeth, I wasn't actually cold, and it was wonderful. We sat on the curb at K-Bob's, sunning ourselves while we waited for the rest of the fam to arrive.

Granddad knows everybody in two counties, I swear. He made friends with one salesman whose uncle he'd helped bury out at Kenna. He went to the place run by his good buddy's son-in-law, was referred to the son-in-law's business mentoree, and we drove over there. He had some kind of fun cars, including a teal PT Cruiser I absolutely fell in love with. It had the awesome retro dash and the cream ball-shaped gearshift that looked like something from a fifties kitchen. But we took it round the block and the engine was shuddering and stumbling like a spooked horse. "Well, that's fine, I guess, as long as it doesn't die," I said to myself, and about ten seconds later it gave up the ghost right there in the lane. I returned the spark of life to it temporarily and then it died again in the parking lot. So we decided perhaps that wasn't The One. No use beating a dead PT Cruiser. We tried out others, but that was the most memorable.

Right, so Daddy and the nice salesman and I drove up the Clovis highway and came round to the great white whale, parked toward the back. It was definitely white. Grr. It did look about the size of a space barge. Grr. And it had tinted windows. GRR. I whispered to Daddy, "It'd better have amazing handling."

Still, while we were there, I figured I may as well test-drive the thing. So I adjusted the seat, and found it rather comfortable. The tinted windows weren't really that dark from inside; I didn't feel like I'd gone back into the Cave. I pulled out of the lot--and it had perk and pep. Huh. It didn't feel like a whale. I got back into the lot and did these sweet little loopies. It wasn't quite a minnow like that Rio the other day, but it was agile; call it a koi goldfish.

Daddy and Granddad inspected it thoroughly. It was a 2002, but had been well taken care of. Granddad liked it because it had the heft of a real car. It appealed to me as a car of character and virtue, with a quiet charm not immediately obvious to the opinionated shopper, like one of those old-fashioned roses that looks slightly scraggy but grows tough as all-get-out and smells wonderful. And, to top it off, it came from the Court of Summer, found on one of the first days of summer I'd had yet this year.

So I bought it. It is mine, my own, my precious pearl without a spot of debt. :-)

I haven't yet named it; I couldn't come up with a name suitable to its Arthurian heritage and its own pleasant nature. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thought of the day

I was alphabetizing this morning, and thinking about the way it works if you have similar names. For instance, if you have a "Martin" and a "Martineau," the "Martin" goes first.

Is it not interesting that in alphabetizing, nothing comes before something?


Monday, April 16, 2007


Worldmagblog connected courtesy and Bertie Wooster and a certain modern tendency not to be Bertie Woosterish. Today's Breakpoint discussed politics and anger. This fits in rather well with our sermon from yesterday, which was on loving your neighbor.

Out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks. Courtesy doesn't prove you're in a right relationship with God (after all, one of the most popular books in the Renaissance was The Courtier, and I don't think anyone will argue they were all true believers thenabouts!), but always being mad and/or rude is a pretty good demonstration that you aren't.

Besides that...if you're kind, people would just rather be around you. Proof: we keep reading Bertie Wooster.

::edit:: Speaking of courtesy, a patient just turned off his cell phone as he went back into the opertory. I think he's the first one we've ever had who did that. Isn't that nice?

Quote of the day

"I think I need an autopsy." Lisa-here-at-work

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Quote of the day

I love working at a dentist's office. I just get the biggest kick out of the most mundane things. Such an event happened this afternoon.

As she waved a sheet of normal white copy paper: "Do we have any of this without x-rays printed on it?" Becca

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

One day at a time

When it comes to scheduling, there tends to be fast or feast. Either we're booked out for four months, or we've got five gaping holes tomorrow, and just when you think it'll work out perfectly someone's elderly father gets ornery and runs off taking two previously-filled appointment times with him.

Today was a fast day. Well, tomorrow was, but today's work was figuring out tomorrow. I would just like to announce that the Lord is good and tomorrow is unholey: a holey day being wholly unholy.

Thursday is another matter entirely. But happily, each day has enough trouble for itself. It's a lovely analogy. :-)

Farsi of the day

"Hava," meaning air or weather. It’s easy to spell: heh, vav, aleph.

I like the thought-grouping expressed by that word. It reminds me a bit of Morgan le Fay of Arthur’s England, who was the Queen of Air and Darkness, and of Satan, who is the Prince of the Power of the Air. You can visualize either of these standing like Saruman on his tower, hair waving and cloak flapping, with the dark clouds wrapping him round and a burst of lighting splitting the sky every once in a while, to be sure the audience is properly intimidated.

Jesus, of course, calls up storms and flattens them to silence; other than Him, I really can’t think of any good guys who control the weather. Possibly this is perfectly rational humility on the part of storytellers; mere men ought not try to run that realm. Earth and sea, perhaps, but the air—who can see the wind? Do you know where it has been and where it is going? To grasp that knowledge can be treacherous.

Yet to fly…as on Lisa’s blog…not to usurp the wind, but to work with it according to its nature, to gain proper dominion maybe, that’s an old dream too, and not unrelated. "Bi-bi-biplane, once upon a sky, plane…" There’s an old saying that eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines. Quite so, but you’ll note there aren’t any songs about the heroic American Weasel.

New Mexico is a good place to appreciate hava. This week we’ve been having a lot of it.

Imagine a cauldron filled with dry ice and hot water. The fog fills the cauldron to a level and then spills over the sides. Now imagine a cauldron with jagged crenellations all round the top. The fog will still come to a level, but will come through the low places first. On Friday night, Sandia Mountain was that cauldron, and the clouds oozed through the valleys toward Albuquerque. I had never seen anything like that here.

We were enclosed by a cloud the other day. About three hundred feet up, the mountain simply stopped. Looking west, I saw a house, a bit of road, a bit of hillside, and then white. That was all.

The sun flamed through broken clouds this morning like a candle through a pierced lampshade, lighting up a hill, a tree, a building. The flag flapped madly on the top of the crane strategically parked on the high ground between two building sites. The clouds coming over the Jemez billowed and loomed, forming a round gray tower behind the new round glass building at the lab, the cloud itself an edifice no less imposing, and a lot less shiny. The wind blew; the clouds darkened; snow and splatting rain poured; the darkest has passed, and now the willow is swaying wildly outside my window.

"So instead of the dark Lord, you would set up a Queen, as beautiful and treacherous as the sea!" No, no such power for me. I shall leave hava to the Lord who walks on the cloud; I shall diminish, and remain myself, and become myself. And I would learn to fly.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Holy week

This is one of those posts that was originally going to have pictures, but what with blogger and technology, the pictures apparently aren't going to happen. So you'll have to make do with descriptions. :-)

Thursday: After work, I went straight to my uncle's for his surprise birthday party. He lives down in the valley, on the way to Chimayo, so we spent the drive there and back dodging walkers on their pilgrimage to the Sanctuario. They were quite good about carrying lights after dark; at any rate, I never saw any pilgrims who didn't carry lights! And the party was good too. I hadn't gotten together with their family since about Thanksgiving.

Friday: Mummy and I went shopping. It was tremendously successful. I found a white lace dress (I'd been wanting one ever since the first spring fashion magazines came out about in January), a little black dress (flapper-style), and sundry other things.

On Good Friday evening, I had dinner with a pirate (see picture I'd have liked to insert here) and then went to the Pit. It was dark and very loud, with bright flashing lights, and got rid of my low-level headache. Go figure. After that a bunch of us climbed out of the pit to go to Taco Cabana and argue about Descartes.

Holy Saturday I did almost nothing. I altered the white sundress and....I think I read a little.

And then today was Easter! He is risen!

We opened our Easter baskets, went to the church brunch and got to talk to a lot of people--I even got to hold baby Libby. We went to church proper and the sermon was excellent, went to lunch at Rancho de Chimayo (yes, the same Chimayo in which is the Sanctuario), and came home to the sound of the Purple People Eater and the end of that Heinlein book Kanary lent me. We splatted cascarones over each others' heads on the back patio, full of confetti, and came in just as it started raining. Then we watched our new movie, Knight's Tale. Twice. Well, I'm on the second time through; not everybody watched it the first time. It's still funny.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Farsi of the day

"Mosafer khaneh," meaning "inn," or literally, "traveler-house." Rather fun.


My inner grammarian is happy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"Mashinha mordand"

I rather like power outages.

Oh, I know they're a great inconvenience, not good for the electronics, they mess up the schedule and trap little old ladies' cars in their garages and require all kinds of explanations and promises to call back.

But the office gets so quiet. The music and machines and buzzing and whirring go silent.

The artificial lights all go out, but we have lots of windows, and can see well enough.

I can't be expected to confirm any more appointments if I can't see the appointment book on the computer, so I do what I can do and then stop.

I like being reminded that we can, in fact, survive without electricity. It's like camping, like a Sabbath, like a strange holiday.

I was talking to Angelina over lunch, and we decided the best translation for this phenomenon was "mashinha mordand": the machines died. Well, I decided that anyhow, and she laughed at my way with words. That's very standard. :-) This, too, is a nice reminder that the universe will go on perfectly happily when technology and knowledge fail. People are forever.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Farsi of the day

Today's Farsi, in honor of the captured British sailors, is "Malavan," meaning "sailor."

News from the front

She glanced behind her. The corridor was empty; one person in the storeroom, two in the next room over. That left one unaccounted for, and he was probably armed.

Quietly she advanced to the door frame. She lifted her weapon, flexing it a bit. She leaned forward, easing around the corner to find her target.

A rubber band splattered against the jamb by her head. She leaped back, firing blindly into the room. She risked dashing across to her desk; that exposed her to fire from both sides, but sitting still without ammunition posed a much less interesting risk. She reached for a handful, catching another in her hair.

Smack! A rubber band hit right in the small of her back! She spun round. That hadn't come from her target. The person from the store room must have heard the twanging and come to join the fun. Meanwhile her target was reloading, weird in his blue mask. She loaded up--shot him--shot down the hall--and heard, almost in unison, "Aww! Good one!"

She grinned. The most recent skirmish of the Great Rubber Band War had gone well.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Unity and diversity

You've got to love church. Well, I do, anyhow. We're still in Leviticus, and today's sermon was on the bodily discharges bit. (Oh, boy!) Pastor Lincoln actually managed to connect it to Easter--much to everyone's appreciation, because resurrection and the doing-away-with of the fall-and-all-its-results is much more pleasant than, well, certain bits of Leviticus. The bridge there is that uncleanness symbolizes the-fall-and-all-its-results; Jesus did away with death at Easter; and the results will be done away with at the second coming. Splendid stuff, all of it. That's the unity.

The diversity came in at the audience. I was sitting with Becca and her family, the Rutherfords, and Nena, who works with my sister. It struck me that the resurrection of the saints from their graves is kind of like in The Black Cauldron, when the bad guy resurrects dead people to be his freaky immortal army, and it's all very nasty and perverted and inconvenient, as it's hard to kill something that isn't really alive, as Dr. Gruenke said about viruses. Anyway, what that's a perversion of is the true and proper resurrection that will happen when Jesus returns. Since I'd lent the Black Cauldron books to Becca's sister Emily a month or two back, I borrowed a pen from Nena to write Emily a note on the back of a bulletin insert, sharing this brilliant connection.

Afterwards, Emily told me that Becca had also whispered to her during the sermon a connection she'd made: that in the new heavens and earth, teeth won't decay and she won't have to worry about infection control. As Emily said, different people do get different things out of sermons. :-)