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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Adventures of the Week 11/22/15

Last week I elected not to do a blog post because on Saturday I literally typed over 9,000 words, and my fingers were sore. Which was too bad, because I actually did stuff last week that I could of talked about. Oh well. The past is in the past.

This week, I am home for Thanksgiving. Which means everything I do will probably be ten times weirder because my family is involved.

I am not the best at vacationing.

I’m on break. I’m supposed to be relaxing, but I’m not the best at getting my head out of school mode. For instance, I could be catching up on any number of tv shows I enjoy, or reading any number of books on my ever-growing to-be-read list. What have I done instead with my free time? Started working a prototype if-then style algorithm, which could hypothetically be turned into a semantic tagger, but so far only for phrasal verbs using break because building a semantic tagger is actually really freaking hard. On the other hand, that’s going well.

Kyra vs. the Self Checkout Machine

In addition to creating algorithms, I’ve also run some errands for my family. Yesterday was TWIRP (the girls choice dance at the local high school). So I got sent to target to get things we needed for that, like nylon, lipstick, and nerf bullets. My mom wasn’t home to give us money for the shopping trip, so we asked my dad. Who for whatever reason only had cash in the form of a hundred dollar bill.

And that’s the story of how we found out that the self checkout does not like hundred dollar bills. And if you do try to use one, you will break the machine and be stuck there waiting for change while the cashier tries to fix it. So I guess I’ll avoid that in the future. Which is too bad. I like the self checkout because it’s always nice to be guaranteed that you’ll get a cute cashier.

In totally unrelated news, yesterday Paige made me spend over an hour curling her hair only to put it up in a bun.

Apparently burning things is a hereditary trait.

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may have noticed that I have a small tendency to set things on fire (like popcorn, curry, hotpads, my legs…). You may also have noticed that I have a baking curfew that I’ve imposed on myself to try and cut down on these types of incidents.

Last night my mom tried baking after 10 pm. It was supposed to be a smores pizza, but I think the picture says it best:

Photo on 11-22-15 at 4.39 PM

But everything changed when the fire nation attacked…

Taylor Swift lyrics of the week: “They tell you that you’re lucky but you’re so confused, cuz you don’t feel pretty. You just feel used.”

Other lyrics I like this week (from Hamilton, the musical):

“He looked at me like I was stupid, I’m not stupid.” Aaron Burr, Sir

“You’re like me, I’m never satisfied.” Satisfied

“And when push comes to shove, I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love.” You’ll Be Back


Adventures of the Week 11/8/2015

Writing angry reviews online makes me feel powerful in situations I have no control over.

I spent some time this week reading Yelp reviews for academic purposes. Because that’s the sort of thing you sometimes get to do as a linguist. I found the reviews interesting and thought about how I’d never really reviewed anything online.  But then I went to dinner at P.F. Chang’s at had a really poor customer experience and started thinking maybe I could be good at online ranting.

It took 45 minutes to get our food delivered, which is a long time when you’re really hungry. Unfortunately, only a small portion of my food came. When we noticed, we asked the server and he said that they were actually out of that particular item. Which would have been nice to know about 40 minutes earlier. They tried to convince me to order something else, but at that point I kind of just wanted to go home and eat cereal. Then one of the other girls asked to see a manager. They said they would send him, but after twenty minutes there was no manager. And then it took probably another 15 minutes to get our check, which we had to have them do twice because they tried to charge me for the food I never got.

On the bright side, I stole some chopsticks and that made me feel a little better.

I am now in possession of a Presto HeatDish! (plus Footlight)

It’s been getting chilly outside, but that hardly matters now that I have a Presto HeatDish. What is a Presto HeatDish you ask? It’s like a space heater. But more ghetto. It looks like this:


We found it in our basement. It’s got these little electric coils that turn glowy orange and look like lava worms, so that’s pretty cool. From what I can tell, the Presto HeatDish postdates electricity but predates product safety regulations. Like it’s got this metal crating that gets really hot and isn’t actually all that protective so it would be really easy to reach inside and touch the lava worms. It does make this screaming noise if you try to move it while it’s on. I’m not sure if that’s a safety precaution or just something it does.

But the point is that it makes my room warm and so far has not set our house on fire. You probably wish you had one too, but I think they stopped selling them about fifty years ago.

Taylor Swift lyrics of the week: “I think her ever-present frown is a little troubling and she think’s I’m psycho ’cause I like to rhyme her name with things.”

Other lyrics I like this week:

“I wish that I could go back in time. I’d be the one you thought you’d find.” Burning House, Cam

“They say great things come if you wait, but I won’t wait for anything but you.” Pocketful of Dreams, Hedley

“You really had me going, wishing on a star. The black holes that surround you are heavier by far.” Barely Breathing, Duncan Sheik

Adventures of the Week 11/1/2015

A brief exposition on why Japanese ghosts are scarier than American ghosts.

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I’d just share some knowledge about Japanese ghosts or Yuurei (幽霊). The queen of all Yuurei is Oiwa, from Yotsuya Kaidan.Who looks like this in traditional art:


And like this in more modern adaptations:


I’m mentioning this for two reasons. The first is that I think Oiwa is legitimately terrifying. The second is that I took a Tokugawa era Japanese literature class, which doesn’t come in useful all that often, and I wanted to show off how much I know.

But really, Japanese ghosts are terrifying. Some of these reasons include:

  • The hair. They often have long, creepy, prehensile hair. Sometimes people find hair in their mouth or drain as an omen that the yuurei is coming. As somebody who’s had to pull a lot of hair from clogged drains, I can say that it’s creepy enough without being an omen for a ghost.
  • Yuurei are pretty indiscriminate killers. They don’t care about scaring victims. Just killing them. They are beyond reason and kill people who had nothing to do with their death.
  • Unlike most Western ghosts, they can come and go between the worlds of the living and the dead with no problems. They can be as solid or intangible as they like.
  • Basically none of the laws of physics apply to them. They can crawl across ceilings, move at extreme speeds, and manipulate your perception of time.
  • They can assume any form they want. They can look like a freaky corpse. Or like a loved one.
  • They’re really clever. And sneaky. They trick people into thinking they’re hurting the yuurei when actually they are helping them.
  • They can’t be exorcised or contained. In other words, they’re pretty much unstoppable.


All this is a really round about way of me telling you that I decided I wanted to be a yuurei for Halloween. Because scary, right? Also I have that kimono I spontaneously bought and wanted to put to use. But then I decided it was too cold and too much work.

So I raided my roommates closet, stole a dress from her and put on a witches hat. I ended up winning the costume contest at the party I went to. Which of course happens the year I’m not even trying. But whatever.

Actually, I think I won in part because there was an awesome balloon artist who made me a black cat that sat on my shoulder and was really kawaii. Also, the prize was pumpkin chocolate bread. Which I probably would have found more exciting if I hadn’t just made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.


Me in all my witchy glory.


A close up of the cat, whom I have named Snickers.

Taylor Swift lyrics of the week: “I know your favorite songs and you tell me about your dreams. Think I know where you belong. Think I know it’s with me.”

Other lyrics I like this week:

“I was struck by lighting, walkin’ down the street. I was hit by something last night in my sleep. It’s a dead man’s party who could ask for more. Everybody’s coming, leave your body at the door.” Dead Man’s Party, Oingo Boingo

“And we were flying so high, yeah partners in crime. So why’d we ever say good bye? Remember when we, when we, had it all!” Remember When, Chris Wallace

“If I could say what I wanna say, I’d say I wanna blow you away. Be with you every night. Am I squeezing you to tight? If I could say what I wanna see, I wanna see you go down on one knee. Marry me today. Guess I’m wishing my life away with these things I’ll never say.” Things I’ll Never Say, Avril Lavigne