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Ce n'est pas avec des idées qu'on fait des vers, c'est avec des mots.

— Stéphane Mallarmé

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

🦋 vim

I am using vim as my primary editor at the new job, and digging it. I've used it a fair amount before but never really enough to give me incentive to become a power user. Today I discovered by accident that pressing '*' in command mode will find the next instance of the word which the cursor is currently inside -- a radically useful feature, something I have cause to do many times every hour -- it is ctrl-F3 in Visual Studio's editor. (Also I figured out that i can paste in xterm -- my lack of a middle button was stymieing me, but it turns out shift-Ins works.)

vim blurs the distinction between command mode and insertion mode a little bit, in ways that I find totally useful. I always hated not being able to move the cursor around while I was editing.

Update: Speaking of blurring the line between command mode and insertion mode, here is a line for .vimrc that I find extremely useful:

set bs=2

This will allow you to delete existing text (using backspace or del) while you are in insertion mode, and to backspace over line separations.

posted evening of January 30th, 2007: Respond

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

🦋 World Gone Wrong

In the car today (first day at the new job! First day driving to work!) I was listening to "World Gone Wrong" and thinking God, what an amazing record this is! I haven't listened to it for a really long time. I'm pretty sure that is the album that Dylan was touring when Ellen and I saw him at Madison Square Garden. I need to listen to it more; also I need to get "Good As I Been To You" on CD.

posted evening of January 23rd, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Music

🦋 Pasta and fish

Here is a really tasty dish that I cooked for dinner last night, that I don't really have a name for.

  • 3/4 lb. codfish, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Pasta -- I used farfalle but I think any noodle would do.
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into pieces
  • Butter and flour for roux

Steam the codfish. This takes very little time, like 2 or 3 minutes once the water is boiling. While you are doing that you can saute the bell peppers and start the pasta boiling. Take the peppers out of the pan and make a roux. (Remember to season the roux! I forgot, and salted everything after it was cooked, which was a mistake.) Thin the roux with white wine and/or the codfish-flavored water from the steamer. When the pasta is ready, add the fish and peppers to the sauce and toss it all together; then put that on the noodles and serve.

posted evening of January 23rd, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Food

Monday, January 15th, 2007

🦋 Fried Catfish Stew

Dinner tonight was popular with the family.

  • 4 medium-size yellow onions, chopped
  • A few carrots, chopped
  • 6 smallish red potatoes, diced
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • Canola oil
  • Cheap white wine
  • 3 filets of catfish
  • Flour, salt, pepper

The stew

Fry the salted onions in a tablespoon of oil, in a stew pot. Add the carrots and potatoes. When everything is sizzling and wet, pour in some wine, lower the heat and cover. Cook over low heat about 20 or 30 minutes, stirring occasionally; toward the end when the potatoes are starting to soften up, add the broccoli. (I added it too soon and it got a little overcooked.)

The fish

While the stew is simmering, heat some oil in a skillet and mix flour with salt and pepper on a plate. Dredge the filets (you may want to cut them in half for easier handling). When the oil is hot, start frying the fish -- you will need to do it in shifts. Drain the cooked filets on a paper towel.

When everything is ready, cut up or tear up the fried fish and toss it in with the vegetables, and serve.

posted evening of January 15th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Recipes

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

More thoughts on Vagabond -- I kept coming back to wondering how closely the events of the movie matched the events of Mona's final days, and what Varda's research had looked like. I have an image of her conducting interviews with the people portrayed, and then building on those interviews to create dialogue. I felt so strongly the spectre of death hovering over Mona! Especially starting around the time she hitched a ride with Mme. Landier -- who seemed downright creepy on the second viewing. The final sequence, from when Mona flees the fire, to when she is assaulted by the wine-makers, to her wandering into the field and falling, had me crawling out of my skin. How true to life is that image of the wine-makers carousing and chasing random pedestrians around, dowsing them with dregs?

posted evening of January 14th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Vagabond

Tonight I am watching Vagabond again -- having seen it yesterday is really helping with the comprehension. So I don't have to pay as much attention to the subtitles and I'm catching more of Varda's visual genius. Also, some plot elements that didn't quite click for me last night are coming together, though there are still a few scenes that don't make sense -- like I'm not sure who the woman is that is saying, 40 minutes in, (approximately) "She's got a good head on her shoulders -- if I'd have thrown you out at her age, my life would have been better", or whom she's talking to, or whom she's talking about.

posted evening of January 14th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about The Movies

This afternoon we are going to Princeton to watch David Catlin's Lookingglass Alice. Should be a lot of fun.

posted morning of January 14th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Readings

🦋 New developments over here

I have not blogged about this (or about much of anything, really), but: I got a new job! This is my last week of work at the old one. I'm excited about the move; I'll write more about it in the coming weeks. (Really!) I will be meeting some friends for a celebratory drink this coming Friday, the 19th, which is my last day of work in the city -- if I have not contacted you it is out of forgetfulness. Drop me a line, I'd love to see you there.

The new year also brings with it a new car for me, or rather a used one. Ellen and I are joining the ranks of the two-car owning families, because I need a car to get to my new job -- though I'm hoping and planning to ride my bike there when the weather is nice. I'm kind of happy because I've never had a car of my own, always wanted one. It is a tan 2002 Nisan Sentra, previously owned by a little old lady who drove it only on Sundays.

Sylvia and I took a trip down to Mexico the first week of the month, where my whole family had gotten some rooms in a resort hotel in Tulum for a little reunion. It was fun -- Sylvia sees entirely too little of her cousins and they really had a blast together. I haven't been in the same place as my brother and both sisters since like the late '90s.

posted morning of January 14th, 2007: Respond

🦋 Vagabond

Last night I watched "Vagabond" (originally "Sans Toit ni Loi") by Agnès Varda, who directed "Cléo de 5 à 7" -- I had watched "Cléo" back in November and been utterly fascinated by it. "Vagabond" is very nearly as powerful a movie. The two movies have a lot in common -- are recognizably the work of the same hand -- and are completely different from one another. Where "Cléo" is whimsical and madcap, "Vagabond" is bleak. There is a deterministic thread running through both movies that would be worth puzzling out. I need to watch "Vagabond" a few more times to get past being totally in thrall to the beautiful camera work. Also I need to rent "Le Bonheur" and "Jacquot de Nantes". It seems to me like Varda is in the same league as Hitchcock in terms of her command of the visual composition of the movie.

posted morning of January 14th, 2007: Respond
➳ More posts about Agnès Varda

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

🦋 Soon it will be 2007.

Happy new year, to my human readers, search engine crawlers, and spambots.

posted evening of December 31st, 2006: Respond

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