Daily Archives: April 13, 2007


Well, the second week of work has drawn to a close. I’m not as exhausted as I was last Friday, but then, I’ve learned how to pace myself a bit better.

Today’s new luncheon location: Soy, where I had delicious plate of shrimp in a pepper/salt tempura. Excellent. Now we get to revisit these choice places, because my contract has been officially extended for an entire month.

Yes, you may cheer. We all did.

Today I began keeping a scratch pad of running commentary during the day to entertain myself and clear my brain of some of what was piling up there while I worked. For posterity (noun: “people in the future”; or really, in this case, just myself in the future), then, here are those notes:

10:30 AM:

I am currently editing the highest level of the dictionary while waiting for a spreadsheet merge. Some of the definitions are too long and won’t fit in the display field properly, so these are the ones I’m fixing now. It’s like a puzzle or challenge: how can I rewrite the definition, keeping it as clear and as unchanged as possible, and still get it under the specified length? Sometimes I can do it right away, other times it takes two or more attempts. When I do succeed, there’s a little “Yes!” that escapes me, and sometimes a small sedate victorious punch of the air above my keyboard. (“Gerrymandering” just took me six goes, the longest yet. But I conquered it in the end.)

11:16 AM:

I talk to myself a lot now. I read definitions out loud. The guys around me are politely ignoring me, or maybe they’re just too involved in whatever they’re working on to notice me mumbling under my breath. Everyone else does it, after all, and some not so quietly.

11:24 AM:

Hojicha green tea is a lousy substitute for the chocolate I’m craving.

3:00 PM:

Part of my problem about working with these definitions is that abbreviations or variants have come to popularly mean something unrelated to the original. I want to include the origin or related info, and can’t, so people will never know that “bedlam” (“a noisy lack of order”) has come to mean this because it originally referred to the chaotic noise made by the residents of Bedlam, a mental institution in London, which in its turn is an abbreviation of Bethlem Hospital, which is in its own turn a mangling of the original St Mary of Bethlehem.

3:36 PM:

… Or “eureka”, which now is used as an exclamation of success, but which actually means “I have discovered it” in Greek. Not the same thing at all.

3:43 PM:

Proofreading “gerbil” reminds me of the little brown mouse Blade and I saw making a mad dash across the lobby of the metro station the other morning. It looked like a brave mousy dare — although if so, it lost points for trying to cut a corner too closely and scurrying into the shiny turnstile column, but regained them by bouncing, shaking itself off, and then carrying on.

Today’s new words: invidious, reticulation.