Let's get together to discuss our vows of Chastity, Poverty, & Obedience

Nun Clubs

I didn't put much stock into these when Joanna first mentioned them. Then I did some research.

This Nunclub is some type of quasi-religious social club, based in St. Catharines, Ontario that reached its apogee in late-2006. They organize events like these:
  • We will be meeting every other Sunday night, starting October 21st. One Sunday will be the study - the following nun nite will be a response to the study. The goal of the next few months will be transformation. This is not about learning more information, but about growth - in relationship to God, to each other & to our world.
  • I still want us all to have fun together - and I think that this will actually be a great experience for all of us to share...
I like that they're still hoping to have fun together, even during their transformation. Also, I found this drawing, which is almost funny, there.

If religious transformation isn't what you're about there's also the United Nun Club. This club is "all about promoting the Nun Pigeon and the hobby." Don't miss the photo section for some of your future club-mates. Is that what you thought pigeon enthusiasts would look like? Does that cute little Yellow Nun make you enthusiastic anyway? If so, this is the club for you. You should know that Nuns are not the showiest of pigeons though, as PigeonFarms.com shows us.

The Jacobin is officially my favorite breed of domesticated pigeon. If you're interested in purchasing one for your own enjoyment there are many opportunities to do so online, for instance jacobins4sale.com.


YOUR ACTION WORLD: Winners are Losers with Ice Skates

This evening we went ice skating. I wore a sweater, and a scarf. Wendy wore her boots that soak up water, and a scarf. I'm pretty sure this ice rink hasn't been zamboni-ed since late November, but you can't tell from this picture. Can you see my knee caps from there?
Does this make you want to go skating on a foggy December night?


Eat This Cheese.

A wedge of this Ossau-Iraty called out to me on Christmas Eve. It was featured prominently on our First Annual Fromage Forage and quickly won my heart. I loved the Little Bloom on the Prairie, I adored the Keen's Cheddar, the smoked Gouda was pedestrian but welcome. The Ossau though... I'm still thinking about it. Did you hear that Bica? It's Ossau-Iraty knocking at your door. Did you know it was voted World's Best cheese 2006? And it may be one of the oldest of cheese varietals around? I doubt it, but that doesn't matter, eat it anyway.

[Are you getting a load of the rind on that thing?]


Unto Us a Knit is Given.

O star of wonder, Star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Jesus, what a babe.

The Ws Christmas Spectacular

Upon arriving in Chicago, I walked over to meet Skoczen at her place of employ, The Lyric Opera. She libraries there. I learned to operate their comb-binder. Notice how my green sweater keeps my tie from impeding my work. It is both fashionable and functionable.

This was fun but we had errands to run and supplies to acquire. And who works on Christmas Eve anyway? Whole Foods was able to give us the opportunity to spend a lot of money on cheeses, alcohols, and the necessary ingredients for Celebratory Christmas Consommé, The Ws Famous Fiesta Bowl, and for tonight's as yet unnamed dinner. You should have been here. Joanna almost was.
[post-Consommé, pre-vodka]

After dinner we exchanged gifts. This was very European of us, but I was still wearing my tie, so it's ok. I got Skoczen David Byrne's book Your Action World. If anyone can ever explain what's happening in this book to me I will pay them at least $7.00.

[page 17: 'Jump Into Yourself']

I received a cocktail shaker in the form of a penguin! I've named him Clyde. Despite what it looks like, he will not pour your drink out his mouth for you. That would be classless. And Clyde is nothing if not classy (can you see his bowtie?).

As the night progressed we finished the champagne. Then the wine. Then a bottle of vodka. And tried to play 'Law & Order' the board game. This was challenging to say the least. We donned headgear. It still made no sense. So we took some photos. And that felt right.

On Christmas morning I woke up at 8:00 AM. Then I went back to bed. Around 10 I ventured out for some caffenine. This was the first time in my life that I had ever been out in the real world on Christmas day. There were so many non-Jews out! At Starbucks I purchased the largest container of coffee they would give me and received 2 compliments on my sweater.

After 2 large cups of coffee we opened presents. eBay Secret Santa is quickly becoming my favorite Santa. Look at how my muppet family is growing! [Not pictured: The Precious Puppy Pair paint by number watercolor set. Expect this to be featured at a later date.]

Wendy received a box full of cleaning supplies. She loves her half a bar of soap and face goop.
["Thanks Santa Joanna!"]
[Update: that wasn't from Joanna. We just thought it was for several confusing minutes. It's a good thing too, because a gift like that might not have earned her an invitation to next year's event.]

[Update #2: The 96 oz. of coffee are almost gone. I am not myself.]

Are you excited to see our Christmas Sweater Thursday post?


Internet Wanderings, or: Hello Wikipedia; Goodbye Productivity.

I would like to begin by saying that it would be impolite to ask how many hours I spent creating the above flowchart.

Yesterday morning I woke up to the latest Strange Maps post that overlays the results of the 2007 Polish election with the imperial borders of the last century (seen above, center). This chart is a rough recreation of the ensuing hours of my life as I eagerly followed hyperlinks across the interwebs. I had an amazing time. Did you know the term 'Cisleithanian' or 'palimpsest'‽ How about that the Aral Sea has been in 2 pieces since 1987? The difference between the Kingdom of Prussia, The Duchy of Prussia, and Royal Prussia? When the British Monarchy lost its claim to Hanover, and why? These are just a few of the things I learned yesterday. And so many maps! [I loved seeing this old friend again.]

Fortuitously, that map of magnetic anomalies was this week's Morning News map quiz. In addition, I expect some of this raw data to be put to good use tonight at JD's game night.


Desk Sweaters

Over the last week I've spent an inordinate amount of time at this desk. I didn't feel a multiplical picture was justified due to today's stationary lifestyle. Instead, here we see three activities done at my desk today, all in a teal lounging sweater:

grading LING 101 exams
constructing a flowchart

As the last picture indicates, I did get up to make coffee and get the newspaper.


Musical Standardization

The Ying; The Yang.

Tonight while we were both drinking alone, Skoczen reminded me that Jersey occupies a place in my heart. A dark place, but still a place. Without it there, there would only be a hole. So, Jersey, I'm sorry. I hate you, but I still need you. And Trenton, you keep on making.


Rock, meet Paper.

I'm not wearing this shirt today. I'm not even writing this post today.




I need more Sch in my life.

Behold, for unto thee I give safe passage through the belly of the beast Bardeen.

Back at Rochester when winter hit we could retreat into one of the several systems of tunnels and crawl spaces that connect various groups of buildings on campus, like this one linking the main academic buildings. Wisconsin, in general, doesn't provide that option. Don't worry, I've learned to make do. I take great pride in the superiority of my routes and for the past 4 winters have proudly stalked the deserted back corridors of Bardeen's 1st floor on the way to and from the Linguistics Department in Van Hise.

This winter though, I've had to modify my route from lab/home/bus stop ⇒ Van Hise due to the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery construction site that's blocking my way. This means I enter the above maze of corridors, dead ends, and medical oddities from a different point now. And on the basement level none-the-less. The hard part is that you've actually got 3 buildings to make it through, not just 1. There's Medical Sciences in the old state hospital building (c. 1920) facing University Ave., the Bardeen Medical Laboratories building that sits directly across Linden Drive from Van Hise, and squashed in between, the Service Memorial Institute. All interconnected in some places, but not others.

It took several exploratory sessions, but I have managed to map out the most efficient route from one end of this complex to the other (in yellow). As a bonus I found an alternate route (in green) that exits via a discreet 1st floor doorway directly to the University Avenue bus stop. Along the way I came upon a variety of interesting artifacts. They are documented below and mapped above. Besides the small cadre of poor souls who work in laboratories in the basements of these buildings I am fairly confident that less that 10 people in the world could navigate this route successfully.

- The abandoned shower.  Sure, there are sciencey labs down here, but this one's just hanging out all by itself. Not even any instructions on the wall or an eye wash station to keep it company. Has anyone ever seen one of these used in real life? Darcy, you can assume that question is directed at you.
- The ramp. One of the mysteries of these basements. Directly on the otherside of that door there is an identical ramp going back down. And a locked metal cage full of computer components from the 80's.

and - Long dark hallways, full of junk.

- Sometimes this machine is in use. Sometimes it isn't. It doesn't matter, I don't know what it does.

- The Wall of Anatomies.  Hello, vaginal canal.

- At this point you emerge suddenly from the gloom of SMI's basement to the light of day (via skylight to above courtyard), 2 hanging plants, and a large mirror to aid in navigating the upcoming 90° turn.

- Any high spirits resulting from this emergence are quickly dispelled by this sad sight. 

- Opposite the forsaken bubbler, an oversized wall map. I have determined it to be between 11 and 16 years old, printed sometime after the breakup of the former Soviet Union but before Zaire became The Democratic Republic of the Congo.

- Next door, LASER LIGHT. 

- Bench seats for those who need to rest.

- As far as I can tell, some type of giant ventilation device. Early on in my explorations this was a useful landmark.

Φ - Rows (and rows) of green lockers. They all have locks on them. Who's using them?


(News! Sweaters!)²

Our apartment building continues to get 2* newspapers delivered to the front stoop every morning. One of them is mine. The other is not. Are you listening creepy guy upstairs‽ THE OTHER IS NOT. Now get off my back.

This green v-neck is a recent purchase out on its maiden voyage today. Leslie wanted me to get it in grey. As usual, I didn't heed her advice and got the green one. This strategy usually works out pretty well for me. She did find me a sweet jacket though.

*Don't be confused by the 4 you see here. That's just an effect of digital photography.


Fan Mail

The Kee is always getting praise from its readers. Now it's my turn.

Last weekend Leslie was in Madison for roughly 20 hours. During that time I managed to drop enough overt references to the blog to get her interested. Claiming neophyte blog status, she requested the web address delivered to her blackberry. An email was promptly sent. It's still unclear if she's already riding the L Train, or if she's yet to get on board that one too.
Blog Appreciation: A+ (very appreciative. rated above favorite magazine & TV[!])
Initiative: BC (slightly above mediocre. requested email, but did so of own accord)
Random Variable: D (not random, should have been reading blog a long time ago)
Long Term Effects: AB (high likelihood of becoming regular reader, if she can figure out how to use computers)
Wabi-Sabi: A (this feels right)

Next up, Kelly, via Facebook:
As it turns out, Kelly is a relative of mine. Because everyone named Barnebey is a relative of mine, somehow. I had to draw a tree to get the connection clear in my head. We're 3rd cousins! (Yes, my grandfather's middle name was Thaine)

Blog Appreciation: A (hilarious, genius; both really good words)
Initiative: A+ (very high. independent googling of 'barnebey wisconsin')
Random Factor: A (despite [previously unknown] family relationship, completely outside existing circle of friends/acquaintances)
Long Term Effects: A (already demonstrating commitment with reference to both current and past posts)
Wabi-Sabi: A++ (chock full of unexpected internet magic; awesomeness)


1-Wheel Drive Traction Control

Forecast: snow, 8" +
City of Madison: Snow emergency.
Madison Public schools: cancelled.
Preferred method of transportation: unicycle