23 December 2011

Winter break

by Cecily

Now I'm in Missoula again until mid-January. Missoula is full of old friends and brothers and drinks and pets. It is quite nice. Except for how sore my legs are from when I went skiing yesterday. POOR POOR ME.

06 December 2011

This metaphor only goes so far.

by Cecily
I just spent an hour doing an Exciting Bureaucratic Adventure Game that involved finding hidden offices and decoding mysterious administrative titles and asking the correct questions in the correct sequence in order to obtain the correct piece of paper, and then bringing that paper to a different office and trading it for a valuable prize or a password or a piece of candy. There was lots of walking around in endless hallways where each doorway leads to another identical hallway and you can find the target by trial and error if you're lucky, but it's really better if you have some song lyrics from a dream sequence to guide you, because if you take too long with the wandering and the dead ends then Ghost Pirate LeChuck will probably appear and stick a pin in a voodoo doll he made of you and send you to a different random section of identical hallway and you'll have to start all over.

14 November 2011


by Cecily
remember this?

Now with lyrics! (via my dad)

in de col men seivuan
prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait
uis de seim cius men
op de seim ol uat men
in de colobos dai
ciak is e maind beghin de col
bebi stei ye push yo oh
uis de seim cius men
in de colobos dai
not is de seim laikiu
de promisdin iu nau
in trabol lovgiai ciu gen
in do camo not cius no bai
for lov so op op giast
cam lau ue cam lov ai
oping tu stei laik cius
go mo men
iu bicos tue men cold
dobrei gorls
oh sandei...

ai ai smai sesler
eni els so co uil piso ai
in de col men seivuan

prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait
uei ai sint no ai
giv de sint laik de cius
nobodi oh gud taim lev feis go
uis de seim et seim cius
go no ben let de cius
end kai for not de gai giast stei
ai ai smai senflecs
eni go for doing peso ai
in de col mein seivuan
prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait
lu nei si not sicidor
ah es la bebi la dai big iour

ai ai smai senflecs
eni go for doin peso ai
in de col mein saivuan
prisencolinensinainciusol ol rait
lu nei si not sicodor
ah es la bebi la dai big iour

11 November 2011


by Cecily
Why hello there. You look like you could use some esoteric reference jokes and terrible, terrible puns. Let me help you out with that!

Phonolohotonthologos: the cover

My ridiculous cartoon is finally ready. The main ideas come from this and this and this, although you shouldn't worry if you don't think any of it makes much sense. Some additional references are available at the end of the post, for those who don't have something better to do.

Here you go (click any picture to go to flickr, where bigger versions are available):
Phonolohotonthologos strip 1

Phonolohotonthologos strip 2

Phonolohotonthologos strip 3

Phonolohotonthologos strip 4

Phonolohotonthologos strip 5

Phonolohotonthologos strip 6

Phonolohotonthologos strip 7 of 9

Phonolohotonthologos strip 8 of 9

Phonolohotonthologos strip 9 of 9
(descriptions coming soonish: sooner if you email me to tell me you want them)

(Selected) Reference Jokes:
Deus ex machina
Inferior Longitudinal
Levator Palatine
Muscular Hydrostat
Orbicularis Oris
Postpositional Anaphornia
theta rolls

22 September 2011

Gonna be a Dental Floss Tycoon

by Cecily
With my tweezers gleamin' in the moon-lighty night.


Soon = Monday. See you later, Constitution City!

26 August 2011

That is one of his tricks.

by Cecily
I am still working on the new fun of "Phonolohotonthologos". I have to finish coloring in some things. Meanwhile, here is some old fun, that Abe invented way back in Minnesota:

I should start doing this game again, it's a winner.

10 August 2011

I don't have a thesis, I have a research question

by Cecily
I am bored of my dissertation. So, so bored. I have been working on it every day since the Founding Fathers created the world and I will keep working on it every day until Ghost Abe Lincoln comes back to destroy us all. I get excited about it every once in a while when I try to describe it at a party or something (I'm so much fun at a party!) but then the next day I sit down in front of it all and am bored again.

It's not a feature, it's a bug.
There are several aspects of the productivity-type software suite* that I am using for said dissertation which make me angry. First, in Numbers, there's no text-to-columns feature. I really need to do text-to-columns, basically five times every day. I gave up completely and switched to a separate open-source spreadsheet editor instead because this makes me so furious.

Second, you can only alphabetize things in Pages if the things are in a table. I don't want it in a table, it's my bibliography! Let me sort the lines, you stupid program! I use some sort of nerdy add-on download thing instead, but what a rip-off. What kind of word processor can't sort alphabetically? A stupid one, that's what.

Third, the ways that you are allowed to specify where figures go, in relation to each other and to text, do not please nor satisfy me. Plus I think there is some sort of fault in either my computer or my edition of the software, so that half the time when I check a box, it checks or unchecks itself repeatedly in defiance of my wishes.

Far from becoming accustomed to these inconveniences, I find my anger grows each time I encounter any of them. I would switch to something else if they weren't all just as bad or worse. Woe, woe is me.

*not the big main evil one, the secondary next-most evil one with the irritating capitalization in its name. I was using LaTeX (which also has irritating capitalization but is otherwise much nicer) for a while, but the rules and regulations and personal preferences of my Dissertation Reviewing Institution are such that this was unworkable in the long run. I will switch back as soon as I see Ghost Abe Lincoln swimming up the burning Potomac and I know my dissertation is over, for sure.

It's not funny, it's dangerous
I moved everything into storage (or into the back of my truck). Step One: Accomplished. Also I injured myself innumerable times due to heat and fatigue and clumsiness and spite (the spite being on the part of various corners and edges, not me). Fletcher, while discussing the differences and similarities between our physical appearances, remarked that "we both got yellow hair and we both got lots of booboos". Indeed we do.

Then I hit the open road! Or if not exactly that, then at least I hit the slow-moving very full road to Arlington where I stayed last week, before getting back on the same not-so-open road to come crawling back to Constitution City.

Now I'm back to the District, which is such a relief because it made me very anxious to spend so much time in an actual State. What if someone expected me to vote about something? How would Ghost Abe Lincoln know where to find me if the end of the world were at hand?

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
Which it probably is. All things considered, the signs have been pointing more and more firmly towards Apocalypse for at least the last several thousand years. The sooner the better, I say. I'm tired of writing this dissertation.

30 July 2011

Mutatis Mutandis

by Cecily

It's not the worst weekend to be moving, but it's less pleasant than if it were October. Or Montana.

Now up: Dissertation. On deck: The West.

10 July 2011


by Cecily
The workshop was very good. The presentations and discussions were interesting and the interpreters were excellent and there was plenty of coffee and eating delicious food in French restaurants.

There were lots of interesting different languages being used at the workshop. There were many different native-spoken-languages (English, German, French, Turkish, Italian, Dutch, and maybe others?) and many different signed languages (LSF, BSL, NGT, LIS, DGS, TİD). TİD wins for having the most fascinating alphabet to try to learn (I can't find any good videos, but it has exciting ways to do diacritics). There have also been all kinds of interesting linguistic things to notice related to what signs and menus say around here: Brittany (French Bretagne, Breton Breizh) has lots of Breton (Breton Brezhoneg) going on.

Now it's over and everyone else left to go back to all their homes in various places. Everyone (including Kyle, who flitted off to California) except me: I'm sitting around Kyle's apartment in Vannes drinking coffee and slowly moving towards maybe doing some work. It is very nice, and I plan to keep doing it for two more days. Then, Tuesday/Wednesday: back to the terrible heat swamp of Constitution City, and the terrible tribulation of having to do productive things all the time.

03 July 2011

Foux du fa fa

by Cecily
I'm going to France to do linguistics and drink wine with Kyle. Je voudrais un croissant. Où est la piscine? Splish splash! La discothèque, c'est ici, bébé.

Au revoir.

23 June 2011

Coming soon:

by Cecily
A hilarious treat for certain people.

sketchbook page with PHONOLOHOTONTHOLOGOS written across the top in wobbly calligraphy with a drawing of an imaginary planet below
(click to embiggen)


13 June 2011

postparty depression

by Cecily
I got back from a college-reunion-type trip to Portland Oregon yesterday. This reunion was hard work! And a lot of fun. There was mostly dancing and drinking and a carnival and old friends and new friends and relatives, and not very much sitting in front of a computer. I slept for 13 hours last night. Now I feel pretty much the way I did when I was 14 and had just returned home from bagpipe camp, all forlorn and nostalgic about the past week and disgruntled about having to start writing my dissertation again. Stupid dissertation.

19 May 2011

I love wikipedia.

by Cecily
Hoaxilus poaxilus
Ivan T. Sanderson
lived in New Jersey, a
Scottish expat

Eminent father of
known for surviving a
Really Big Bat

more double dactyls:
Tom Swifty

14 May 2011

I still exist

by Cecily
Here's a little something just for you. To tide you over until I finish my dissertation, or give up on it, or think of something funny to say:

Bittily brattily
Goldilocks, Goldilocks
What have you done with the
porridge and chairs?

Some stories make you a
others end sadly: you're
eaten by bears.

04 March 2011

I'm a charmer is why

by Cecily
If papers, handouts, etc have a blank side, I put them in a drawer to use for scratch paper later. Here's what was on the "blank" side of the piece of paper I just pulled out:

sketch of an angry face saying “I hate coexisting” and a scribble saying “I hate etiquette”

Based on the other side of the paper, this is from a class about language politics and planning in 2006. I have no idea what the other relevant details were that led to this being drawn.

It's much harder to draw lots of hilarious cartoons during a class now that I am usually teaching the class.

Other in-class cartoons from my more-prototypically-studential days were about theta roles, morphology, and the extremely irritating and frustratingly common belief that gorillas can learn ASL*. I still haven't gotten around to the one about Phonology + Chrononhotonthologos = Phonolohotonthologos. Yet.

*Those last two, while they began in a classroom setting, involved substantial extracurricular efforts as well.

31 January 2011

Oh, hello

by Cecily
I gotta make this quick because I'm under strict instructions from my advisor not to get distracted from working on my dissertation. He had a whole list of things I wasn't supposed to get distracted by, and I think "the internet" was on it, but I wasn't really paying attention because there was something pretty outside the window.

Speaking of writing my dissertation, hey, remember that time I was in college and I was writing my senior thesis and I accidentally listened to so much Bruce Springsteen while I was in my thesis office that I accidentally trained myself to ONLY be able to write my thesis if there was Bruce Springsteen in the background?

Seriously. It started with a 1-week period where I was all "ooh this live album is great! I'll listen to it over and over on giant headphones for a while!" And then I think it was habit, or I didn't have any other CDs in my office, or something. Anyway I kept listening to it for a few more days while I worked.

And then I got bored of Bruce Springsteen so I started listening to something else, but my brain had been Pavlov's-dog-'d into not being able to write my thesis to any soundtrack other than the Boss. I tried, and every time I tried, I didn't get anything accomplished. When I switched back to Live 1975-1985 (Disc 1) I would churn out lots of pages of beautiful ideas about Hildegard von Bingen and her sources of authority.

Man, by the end of that spring, I HATED Bruce Springsteen and his stupid E Street Band. I did graduate though.*

The point of this story is that I might have accidentally trained my brain again to demand only old school Billy Joel. Specifically, mainly, "The Longest Time" and "You May Be Right". I'm trying to branch out but it's hard work, and I'm worried that fooling around with my background music might count as being distracted.

Another thing that might count as being distracted is all the daydreaming/internet browsing I am doing about Bluetooth hearing aids. They are so shiny! If only I had $4,000. You know how I could get $4,000? If I had a real job. You know how I could get a real job? If I finished my stupid dissertation. So, back to that. See you around!

*My thesis advisor also mentioned to me, at one point, that I should try not to "get distracted by shiny things". I don't know why everyone thinks I'm so flaky, I totally know how to finish