February 27, 2004

Not Wholesome, Welcome!

Category: Not Wholesome — Biella @ 10:11 am


Welcome to my new Blog Design and Concept, Not Wholesome. Not Wholesome is a category of multi-purpose means and ends and I hope, despite the glaringly shocking image associatied with Not Wholesome, you will start to journey with me in the land of NW. It can take us many interesting places…

The ironies of Life guide this concept: how and in what ways are things construced, washed, perceived, tagged, convoluted to become wholesome or not? Why do some things strike us as utterly wrong and others pleasant and comforting? I am interested in that always shifting interface which is so potentially productive and destructive at the same time. For some, one thing might be wholesome for another not. And I am sure you will hear about my own personal opinions about the Not Wholesome especially when I think it has been sheathed into the Wholesome.

When you decontexualize, the meaning of purity and disgust can radically shift. This new project is ultimately about the aesthetics of taste and its intermingling with morality, and the who, how, and when with the power and wherewithal to stablize the thrust of meaning that can enliven, disgust, inspire, and degrade.

The great ironies of purity and disgust, wholesome and the not wholsome, derive from the image showcased in this entry (inspiring the pink image) which *actually* derives from what I think of as a very, innocent and wholesome endeavor-> My mom cooking her favorite dish, chicken-on-a-bottle. She coooks it every Sunday even currently with her visual impairments. And she gets really pissed if you deviate from her ritual recipe.

It is some arcane Russian recipe (so she claims) where you stick a chicken on a bottle filled with water and then put it in a pan with water and bake in the oven at 450 F for 1.25 hrs. You season with some salt and pepper after a short ablution with fresh lime juice. It is quite delicious in fact, the outer skin of the chicken baking into just the perfect crisp, the meat inside reamaining moisty thanks to the hot steam of all that water. I wholeheartedly recommend it for you meat eaters out there.

But in the mean time, I can’t offer your meat and flesh only a virtual welcome. I hope not to offend only to see how and what and why things offend or don’t

February 25, 2004

Deadlines for Lifelines

Category: Personal — Biella @ 11:09 pm

My silence, my silence, the sound of silence. Sigh. I am silent on the blog because I am so frantic and frenetic, and hectic and ballistic in the real world. I have had a total of 8 deadlines this month, deadlines which are my “lifelines” for next year or my career so they are stressful in this like visceral way that gets me working all day long in a way that is just simply Ludicrous.

Today I walked into a coffee shop and there was some folk music playing and for a moment, I simply froze into a state of self-realization: the pace, the melody of the music, making me so realize how utterly frantic my life has been. I got bummed right then knowing that I have been going at a pace too fast for truly enjoying a song and friends, basically living in a way that is not sustainable.

SOSHI has taken a lot of my time, but it has been well worth it. Many folks are working at this and we are building a good base of support and we have nearly 1000 Signatures on our petition, which is really great.

Apparently, though the adminstration thinks that only a handful of students, like me, are concerned. Whatever. Well it is more complicated than that but I am too tired to write about it. After March 1st I hope the pace calms down, so that the biella, who is like a chicken with her head cut off, running wildly, (though mostly at her computer), will become a chicken with her head in place so that I can write something more sensible, more interesting….

February 21, 2004


Category: Personal — Biella @ 2:48 pm

It is so ugli, I mean ugli that I have yet to catch up wtih my bog. I have about 10 subjects I want to write about from Cheney, to Bakhtin, to my grandfather, to the boat I used to live on, to many other delights. But this has been the month of the endless series of deadlines, I think around 7 or 8 and more keep coming. It is like I am on the high seas of grants and applications and avast! more stormy deadlines rock my ship.

In the meantime, to cool myself down I purchased a piece of Ugli Fruit to eat, a seemingly genetically engineered mutation grown only in Jamiaca that is a mix of tangerine, grapefruit, and seville orange. Ahh the wonders of bio-technolgy and global food market, combined to bring me the ugli and I am *sure* bringing economic equity to the Jamaican people…..

February 16, 2004

Simply Brilliant

Category: Tech — Biella @ 8:07 pm

Kinyarwanda, the language spoken by most Rwandans, has no words for many basic technical and computing terms, including the very word “computer,” so when the group that started translating OpenOffice came to this, they decided on a new word:
“mudasobwa,” which roughly translates to “something or someone that does not make mistakes.”
link here

February 13, 2004

Disturbing —> Amusing

Category: Humor — Biella @ 6:44 pm

When I am tired, like I am today due to an incessant week of deadlines pulsating through my veins and pounding my brain, I become a little senstive to news and my environments, easily disturbed, easily amused.

I was disturbed this morning by the bright sun which I felt like I had not seen in months in Chicago and the news that a math formula can predict relationship patterns. If it were so easy.

I was and always am amused to see the moving/transportation truck, called Yellow for Their signs are orange not yellow. I have always wondered if this was a mistake or just a little hack by the company president to bemuse highway goers.

I was amused in that sort of disturbing way to find myself singing to Ozzy in the car today. Without frequent public displays of karaoke, I am reduced to private sessions in the car….

February 9, 2004

HOT, Hacking–>Sauna

Category: Research — Biella @ 7:45 pm

Lest one think that hacking occurs just on the net, locality of no importance, think again. Here was an announcement made today on a Debian mailing list.

Those Finnsss know how to lead the good life, sauna, free software, codfish…

There has been a little bit of interest in a Debian sauna in Helsinki,
Finland, which I sort of proposed on IRC and my log. My plans are now
more concrete. I propose the weekend of July 2-4. This is the weekend
after GUADEC 2004[1], which is in southern Norway. The proximity might
make it possible for some people to visit both.

Thus, the plan is for people to arrive on Friday or Saturday and hang
around until Sunday. There will be at least one visit to a sauna[2]
(nudity is not required, whatever Wikipedia says), probably on Saturday.
You can sleep on my living room floor, if you don’t want to pay for a
hotel; I only have an extra mattress. I have ADSL. We can make food
ourselves, or go eat out. If the weather is favorable, a picnic at
Suomenlinna[3] would probably be nice. Helsinki has other sightseeing
opportunities as well.

This is meant as a social occasion, but hacking is of course allowed.

If you’re interested, let me know. Since arranging this doesn’t require
much from me, there is no real deadline.

[1] http://2004.guadec.org/
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_sauna
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomenlinna

February 5, 2004

A Wandering Life

Category: Personal — Biella @ 12:59 pm


Who scripts our lives? In high school, one of my favorite books was

February 1, 2004


Category: Ethics — Biella @ 10:35 am

Heartbreak. I think we have all experienced it and I bet it had something to do with some disturbance in the romantic force field, as it is, damn, a powerful field of force. Though this term is apt to capture lost romantic love, to simply leave it within the rubric of romance is to rob it of the richness it holds to convey some fundamental characteristics on the human condition, that of human connection.

A few days ago, a 13 year old Maori girl was nominated for the best actress category for her performance in Whale Rider, a movie about a tribal elder