dipsqueak.com http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~llau

My all-time favorite profanity: dipsqueak.

Last attended on Sun, 11 Aug 2002. Created on Friday, 16 Nov 2001.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

   -- Robert Frost

¡Bienvenidos! This is Lauren and company's website. It's simple (not foolish simple; simple simple). We're learning to code in HTML S L O W L Y. (Uh, uh-again, still figuring out tables and fancier stuff.) So, it's all just one huge page of words. For posterity, I must say: Windows is so lame. (I'm even less keen on Macs. One mouse button?!? What's up with that? And how about those newfangled transparent mouses where the WHOLE MOUSE is the button? WHAT? Squeak squeak Mac, with disdain.) Check this out: "Chicks dig UNIX."   :P


(Sun, 11 Aug 2002): I got a new plant!! Happy, leafy shrubbery   =)   I wonder why plants make me happy. Okay, not really. Happiness is good enough for me. Squeak squeak bliss.



I'm a poor college undergrad in a cold, wet, sunshine-deprived place on the West Coast -- an undergrad just trying to survive. You might recall that in my last update -- ahem, some time in December 2001 -- I was tired and searching for a NICE, AFFORDABLE PLACE TO LIVE. I have since found a relatively spacious room in an apartment sandwiched between floors occupied by OTHERS. Ugh. My next home will either be a house or a penthouse. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the superb utility of my favorite profanity, DIPSQUEAK. As in, my lovely neighbor-above is a DIPSQUEAK. Squeak squeak DIPSQUEAK. As in, I can hear him right now, dipsqueak. If this is your first lesson in SQUEAK-SPEAK, then you need to spend more time around me, assuming your company is welcome. Once one is proficient in squeak-speak, he or she is fit to be sacrificed and thus keep company with the gods! Uh, not to be arcane or anything. . . . You know how computer programmers argue incessantly over their pet programming language' power and prowess and expansive expression? If squeak-speak didn't require sentient minds as a medium (ask me why), you'd have a winner there. Really.

Anyway, in keeping with the subtle inanity of a huge page of words, read some words about me (and company). This is the state of my life! ==> The particulars, described as follows: I'm a Senior at the University of California at Berkeley. My anticipated graduation date is Dec 2003, after which time I plan to be GONE; away from here; out of the Bay Area; into perpetual sunshine; forgotten; finding my Xanth-ral nook in mundania.

I study a multitude of things. I'm a double major, but both of those majors are interdisciplinary. I'm also a double minor, somewhat. Only one of those minors will be recognized on my diploma; the other is just a personal present to myself. Yeah, so what am I talking about?!? My first major is Astrophysics. Astro combines the best of Astronomy, Physics, Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, and -- when you get dirtily down to it -- Philosophy. My other major is Cognitive Science. CogSci pieces together Philosophy, Linguistics, Psychology, Neuropsychology, Vision Science, Computer Science, History, Education, Anthropology, Economics, the lesser sciences, and little bits of everything else besides Physics and Astronomy. (Some of the experiments we read about which are cornerstones of cognitive studies just floor me -- and I mean that in a bad way. You call that an experiment?!? What? HOW is that supposed to be statistical analysis? Just. . . stop. Really, stop. squeak.) Berkeley's CogSci major requires an emphasis in one of the disciplines -- I'm double emphasizing in Philosophy and Linguistics. I used to be a Ling minor before I rolled that into the CogSci major. (Is it just me, or do other chicks dig polyglots, too?) If the right classes crop up in the semesters I have left, I could likely finagle a discipline overlap and triple emphasize with CogPsych (gag!). We won't think about that or Psych. (No, I don't consider the word finagle part of my personal vocabulary. It's an artifact of a class I'm taking this summer. Mostly, people from Illinois use it. Me and polysemy, okay. Me and finagle, ehhhhhhh. We'll get over it, if my critters will allow. Let me just tell you: my IFs are pouncing all over this word. I think it's because it describes them so well. They've taken to making finagle-faces -- cute, to a limit. They're walking a fine borderline. That's the last time I let them read email over my shoulder.) This ties into my official minor, Music, because one of the classes I'm talking about is "Cognition and Perception in Music." I'm a musician and a dancer and a synesthete (with respect to space -- including movement -- and sound -- including all elements of purity, rhythm, texture, timbre, plus gestalt; it's a rather complex thing). I think it was the synesthesia that used to drive me to all manner of perfection in all areas of existence. I have since learned to convert my synesthesias into a medium for pleasure   ;)   I wouldn't give them up for the world.

Let's talk about the discipline we haven't gotten to yet: my unofficial minor. I have an immense affection for plants. Sigh. How cool are live green things? For that matter, how cool are live furry things? But we're talking about plants. Berkeley unfortunately doesn't recognize a minor in Plant Studies or whatnot, though it has departments of Biology, Integrated Biology, and Plant and Microbial Biology. Ah well, plenty of classes to take regardless. Even one in horticultural methods at the UC Botanical Gardens!

The set of things above may seem outrageous, but I thoroughly enjoy everything that I do. So, what else do I do (formerly, as are many such cases)? <==> I played the carillon before I quit-- that's the spectacular instrument in the bell tower. I'm fond of feeding squirrels, basking in the sun, ballroom dancing, playing my monster, and spending time and money at BPI. Okay, not really the money part. (Hey! I'll be a minister within a year, by the time I'm through with this intensive training that occupies my nights. It epistemically opens the door to the possibility of grad studies in thaumaturgy! Ummm, I mean theology? Whatever. CogSci or Astro, it's all the same.)

Back when I was in Astro lab (Fall 2000), I discovered Jamba Juice. For the period I was in Astro lab (many many many hours in an attic computer lab with UNIX, IDL, emacs, and LaTeX), Jamba Juice had essentially become the conglomerate-substitute for squirrels, sun, dancing, imitating elephant calls, and psychic returns. Small consolation, but it made the short days (obscure sun!) and long nights (no sun!) endurable. I should mention that there's serious sunshine deficiency in Berkeley. We live in a pocket of hit-or-miss sunshine between the months of October and April. And forget about sunshine at any other time of the year!! (Mind you, I say sunshine, not sunlight.) Well, Jamba Juice is a full-fledged ADDICTION now. The things I would do. . . for. . . one. . . .

I found the greatest place to buy plants! Berkeley's Farmer's Market down on Center Street on Saturdays. (There's a Farmer's Market on Tuesdays, too, though that's elsewhere in Berkeley.) I found my French pussy willow tree there. As with my spiky plant from Madagascar, Solanum pyracanthum . And my Scottish harebell, Campanula rotundifolia . And my white moonflower, Ipomoea alba . Likewise, my black hollyhock, Alcea rosea . And my FAVORITES, my awesome balloon flowers, Platycondon grandiflorus . They're absolutely charming. Each inflorescence puffs up like a balloon before it opens, at which point they look like they're going "blah!!" I love 'em!!   :)   Hello world! I'M SO PROUD OF MY PLANTS!!

My favorite place for buying orchids on Shattuck Ave went out of business   :(


I know, I know: "It's all words! Where's all the fun stuff? Isn't this place called dipsqueak.com?!?" As it stands now, this website, obviously, is rather dull. As soon as it's feasible, I'll do it real gooder on the big plans I have for dipsqueak.com. (A comprehensive anthology of squeaks! And other details of squeakiness.) We'll just wait and see how long that takes. Take note of the date at the top of the page (Fri, 16 Nov 2001 and now Wed, 17 July 2002). Just wait. . . .


All that's left for me to do is ramble.

Hey, let me introduce my favorite book: The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman. It's an incredibly tight, cohesive masterpiece -- one of those books you see new meanings in each time you read it through. If you're going to read this book, you have to commit yourself to reading it at least twice through. For lack of a better analogy, reading it once is like reading an IDL code and guessing what parts of it do (you know the feeling, even if you don't do computers), and reading it again is like seeing what the whole code does when it's run (. . . here I am, using Astro lab to describe the meaning of life) . The Merro Tree is delicious. I won't say anything aside from this is my absolute most favorite book in the world. Oh, the wit! The rhetoric! The diction! The allegory! . . . heh, how many people have I just turned off? Well, if you can't handle it, you shouldn't touch it anyway. It's just so TIGHT and polished!

Wanna read a book for purely fanatically analytic purposes?!? Try One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It's no Merro Tree, but it's a masterpiece all the same. And let's mention Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby while we're at it. Squeak squeak new money, Daisy, and Myrtle. But I only read things like that when I need a surreal break from mundane irony. There's nothing else like immersing yourself in another's world -- one that's creatively drenched with portentous irony -- for a good, japing laugh. For real fun, I like books with dragons and magic and nonsense and valour1 and action and biting wit.

Have you figured out my kind of humor, yet? Here's something obscure:
The shortest mathematic joke: " ε < 0 ". HA HA HA!!! Better yet, try this . . . . Squeak squeak amused.2


MUSIC! My favorite all-around musical artist is Jon Secada. My favorite singer is Tony Moran. I melt at the sound of his voice.
[Which brings us to the topic of the music of my past, my radio station in South Florida, and my long-standing passion for Freestyle, House, and breakdancers. Freestyle music deserves its own (multiple) page(s), so I won't discuss it any more. Back when I was an e-bay super auction junkie, I bought records like mad. Then, I discovered Rasputin (a used record store, among other things). . . you can guess what happened. But I stopped record-binging when my collection got close to 300. The really sad thing is that I don't have turntables to play any of it on.] I'm a child of the '80s (and early '90s). Remember the '80s? Okay, neither do I, but that was the peak of Freestyle music! I wrote my Extended Essay for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program (high school stuff) on Freestyle music. That's how much it enamored me. Truly synesthetic, I'm telling you.

My favorite contemporary composer is John Williams. His creations include Jurassic Park, E.T., Back to the Future, Home Alone, all the Superman movies, both Star Wars trilogies, the Indiana Jones trilogy, Hook, both Jaws films, Schindler's List, JFK, The Patriot, Gilligan's Island, several Olympic Games themes ("The Olympic Spirit" Seoul 1988, "Bugler's Dream" Alberta 1996, "Summon the Heroes" Olympic Centennial), Gladiator, the Harry Potter movie series, and Forrest Gump -- just to name a few. The man can write a tune!! Other composers who move me are Beethoven and Prokofiev. Germany and Russia have done so much for Western society (and science). There's a lot left unsaid right there, which deserves its own page(s), too. Philosophy, art, and nationalism (of all kinds) really rock the world. Makes you wonder when it's our turn, doesn't it?

Can you believe I haven't mentioned Ricky Martin anywhere on this page, yet?!? Oh wait, I just did. While I'm at it, I'll drop a few more names without explanation. Ava Kaye. David Weise and Valentina Kostenko (David and Valentina). Alexei Yagudin (gag! scary picture! But he's the BEST). Cal Mens' Rugby. Bok Tower. Maxine and Hallmark Shoebox Greetings' Crabby Road. Fast Company (the paper version, not the online version). Saveur (ditto). despair.com. "In Living Color" ('80s Comedy and bodily expression! They had the Fly Girls! Okay, it was the early '90s, wasn't it? Close enough?). Nicole Sullivan of MAD TV. Adopt-A-Bat. Batman! Salma Hayek. Nic Cage. Letterman, Paul Schaffer, and the CBS Orchestra. DJ Laz. My beloved IFs Bunniby and Scruffy, and Whiskers (he's Bunniby's IF, thus mine by default, however dubious the claim).


Remember, bunnies are cute and bats are our friends. Life's not fair. Eat chocolate. Birkett was right: it's friends who make life worth living. Play golf. Clean your windows and mirrors. Drink orange juice, stay warm, and thank people. Get your eyes checked. Cornbread crackers! Don't wait because anything can happen before tomorrow. Now is now; live now. Take care of your body. Be good, or be good at it. It's all about attitude. It's tough to be making mistakes when you know you can't afford to. Life's not fair! Learn from everything and everyone, all the time. Expect to find dumb crumbs and smart cookies in the same bag of waffles. You don't know anything, the universe is big, and just who do you think you are? Someone's thinking about you (really!). [Okay, they might not be nice thoughts, but I've already said life's not fair -- and, well, you're not that special.] Find your space. Bad jokes are an art. Fake inspiration comes from the whiteboard markers in 705 Campbell.3 Everything is part of everything, pass the soup.4 Cows are sooooo dumb! Cows are sooooo dumb! Turn down your psychic noise [For my sake! Who wants to calculate the SNR on that? sheesh!]. Someone else needs this more than you do, someone else has waited longer than you to get to that, and everyone needs a little bit of help. Make a difference. Little things add up. Yours isn't the biggest sacrifice. Sometimes you really don't need to say anything at all. Feel the energy. Listen with your spirit. Be true to yourself. Release. Protect. Know. Remember what makes you happy -- indulge when you know you need it most. Eat lunch, something new. Listen to the crooners: surrender yourself to sounds by Harry Connick, Jr. and Frank Sinatra (it'll help with the tough times). Things have changed, but things are still the same. A lot of the time, it's indigestion. Practice random smiles and laughter (they keep you young). Discover the stars. Animals bask in the sun -- hey, you're an animal (call it a siesta)! You're beautiful. And life's really not fair.


I don't like this coast all that much. The radio stations suck. The Bay weather fluctuates much too dramatically (for a Florida native such as myself). I feel crowded. There's no room to be still and know (in sunshine!). I mean to leave, but that entails so much. An occupation, for one thing. A ball and a chain and a fine line.
(And happiness? I want that, too! Here's me, searching for a happifier. . . ). And, well, I have fantasies of becoming a hermit. (Shhhhh!!) Who knows what the morrow will bring? Or some such Heisenberg nonsense.5 Squeak squeak decisions.

Begging astronomers' pardon:

In defense of my egregious cloudy blue sky background. . .
So, what's up with this cloudy blue sky background? Clouds are the bane of astronomers. I'm taking this space to acknowledge this and move on. I would try to claim that I think it's pretty, but even I don't believe that. All those clouds obscuring our field of view! I'll revert to the cognitive approach and say that its purpose is to satisfy the biased expectations of everyone else. Plus, it was convenient for me to do so. That's still no excuse, but think about it and take the subtle joke for what it's worth, okay? And you don't NEED to email me about the taboo. I know, I know!!

Although I'll probably study the mind and it's maddening mysteries for the remaining balance of this lifetime, I'm forever an astronomer before a. . . (gaaag!) . . . P . s . y . c . h . o . . . you know.

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Amuse yourself. Check out my astronomy lab pages at http://ugastro.berkeley.edu/~lauren.

Ask me how the telekinesis is going.

Pieces of work. . .

What's playing at the San Francisco Symphony?

My email -- lauren@ugastro.berkeley.edu. Squeak to me.
Or invite me to the symphony.

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philosophical   Q: What did the Buddhist monk say to the hot dog vendor? answer at bottom
1   Didn't I mean to spell valor like a Brit ?
2   That symbol is lower-case epsilon, for those of you on blech-scape or old dinosaur browsers.
3   Damn! You don't need me to explain this one, too, do you? How about a hint instead? In addition to what it might look like, think of all the different denotations and connotations of "inspire" and all the different ways a whiteboard marker can knock you out. You don't have to be a sleep-deprived, cultish, sky-worshipping denizen of 705 Campbell to get it! (And I do mean ALL the different meanings and ways. This is a multi-entendre twice again. Also known as polysemy to the nth degree. Just MAKE ME ruin a fabulously subtle joke ferreted in the midst of indubitable sensibility . . . . )
4   Says Whees-aru, the Enlightened Somalite. The Merro Tree / Katie Waitman. So, seriously, if anyone wants to REALLY discuss the ins-and-outs of this incredible masterpiece, contact me! Squeak squeak Merro Tree. . . .
happifier   Once upon a time, there was a Disney-World street-sweeper. I believe it was sometime around Thanksgiving about 8 years (??) ago. Do you know who you are?
5   Come to think of it, might hermiticity be attributable to some Pauli nonsense? Squeak squeak degeneracy, anyone? How l-o-o-o-w can you go? Here, try this.
answer   A: "Make me ONE with everything."

copyright 2002 --- All Rights Reserved
Lauren and company