NASA Develops System To Computerize Silent, ‘Subvocal Speech’. Good stuff. Go NASA. That’s right up there with Sedna, which just blew my mind when I read about it last Wednesday (Usenet’s sci.space.news, anyone?). Actually, higher, probably, since it can help people directly.
This weekend has been all kinds of fun. It’s been Mom’s Weekend (essentially), and I had the joy of meeting Bridget’s mother. That’s not sarcasm. She’s very nice, and I see a lot of Bridget’s mannerisms and thought processes in her. I can’t help but wonder what she thinks of me, given the undoubtedly conditional opinion Bridget has of me; I’ve challenged Bridget on a lot of things she says, asking her why she uses a particular word, or passes a particular judgment, because we are so different–complete opposites on almost everything regarding sexuality and social situations, and it’s interesting to find out the reasoning behind her ideas. When Bridget’s mother mentioned that a psych prof at her college was a “pervert” because he mentioned chicken sex in a lecture, I could just see Bridget remembering me asking (when she said the same thing about Dr. B–minus the chicken sex), “So, how is it again that showing a diagram of a vulva on an overhead is a sign of mental unbalance with regards to sexuality, or that Dr. B is twisting the proper functions of his body?” (That last comes from a high school psych teacher telling me that S & M is considered “perverted”, without any particular moral overtones, as it is the use of pain as pleasure, and is a twisting of the body’s functions, namely pain receptors.) I got an interesting explanation, and I think I made her think a little bit with my question. I didn’t mention any such thing to her mother, though, since she had taken me out to dinner the night before, and I always hate saying things to shake up middle-aged women’s thoughts, even on simple stuff. Probably because of my mother. I’m always afraid of what’s going through her head when I say weird stuff (weirder than picking on the use of the word “pervert”), and I wonder if she’s just going to snap and abandon the “family”, kill somebody in their sleep, or find some other way out.
I also met Mae’s mother, who was older than I was expecting, but very nice. She talks just like Mae, and they share even more mannerisms than Bridget and her mother. (I wish I could capture the essence of Mae’s personality, appearance, and mannerisms in words, because she’s such an interesting person to interact with.) Mae’s mother isn’t mother-hen motherly, but she was planning my and Mae’s Museum Day in Indy. Apparently, there’s a cool canal, and gardens, etc., that we can use to turn the visit to the Eiteljorg (finally learned the spelling of the name) and the IMA.
My mother called today to ask if they could send me money for clothes (I’m running out of pants I can wear without having to constantly fear I’ll be de-pantsed by a good breeze). Then she remembered that I mentioned I wanted to have my car worked on. My father got on the phone, and we went step by step through all the things I need to have done to the car, and the cost of each thing. Then he sent me money covering the cost… plus, oh, $150 or so for clothes or any extras that come up on the car. Just like that. Wow. So next Saturday is officially Car Day, as soon as I make an appointment. Timing adjusted, idle adjusted, new spark plugs, adjusted spark gaps, and checks on a few other things, like wiring, distribution cap, etc. If they have money, they spend it, that’s for sure. (Not that I’m any different. Stinginess is difficult for me.) I feel like an ogre, because I’m nineteen damn years old and still not taking care of myself. I guess I could have rejected the money, but the bills my mother would have ran up on long distance nagging me would have surely approached that same amount of money. And they played psychological warfare by asking (better yet, by my mother asking), rather than just telling me they were sending money, which would have gotten my back up even more than them asking did. I’m a wimp, I suppose, for punking out on accepting the consequences of my mistake with the oil. So I’m a bit pissed/disgusted with myself right now. I think mom got the idea when I mentioned that the money they had just given me in a lump sum was the equivalent of eight weeks (the rest of the damn term) of my normal work (not counting any extra nights worked, and not counting the bills I would inevitably have to pay, like insurance, gas [still I still would have been driving Johnny, out of sheer necessity], food over break, and housing over break). She got a little quiet then. Good. Assuage my pride a bit, woman. Hmph.
I keep finding myself wondering how they get mirrors to be perfectly flat (and to stay that way). We expect them to be flat, because when we look into a mirror, we think that is what we look like, with regards to width, roundness, etc. But if the mirror is even ever-so-slightly bent convex or concave, you’d get an ever-so-slight house of mirrors effect, and you’d look slimmer or bigger than you really are, right? (I slept [open-eyed, admittedly] through the optics part of physics in high school) Am I insane for not trusting mirrors to provide me with an accurate image of my body? Not that my mind wouldn’t mess up the interpretation of the image, anyway, but I think the idea still stands. Odd thing to wonder about, I suppose. “Bent mirrors everywhere. It’s a conspiracy to kill the self-esteem of teen-aged girls (and guys) around the world!” Not quite. But I don’t trust my mirror to anything other than identify errant strands of hair and the colors of my clothing.