Archive for the 'Palindromania!' Category

Palindrome for August

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Well August is almost over for heaven’s sake, but I don’t want to wait until September for a new palindrome. So!

In homage to the one-too-many cuba libres I had last night (I’m on vacation, woo hoo!) (also, ouch!):


It’s the lime that makes that drink so yummy. That and the rum. And the coke. And the ice!

More crabs

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Well it is time for a new palindrome!

As some have noticed, I have fallen out of the habit of observing the first of the month by putting up a new palindrome.

An aside: nowadays, the first of the month means one thing: little M gets to have new toenail polish! To me, she does seem a bit young for polish — she’s four — but I decided a toenail polishing session once a month would be okay. She’ll be ten before we go to fingernails. Or at least that’s the plan for now. Lately we’ve been using a pink sparkly glow-in-the-dark polish for her, and a dark sky blue shade for me. We both love our fancy toenails.

Ahem! So! Palindrome! The current palindrome laxity was brought to my attention once again by the lovely Lisa, in regard to the CRABS etc. post from a few days ago. She was thinking I might be doing a crab-related palindrome. I thought that was a fine idea, but did not know of any. Googled “crab palindrome” and what do you know! Not only is there an excellent actual crab-related palindrome, short-n-sweet and also alcohol-related (win win!) but it turns out that there is also a more profound connection between palindromes and crabs. See (from Wikipedia):

The word “palindrome” was coined from Greek roots palin (πάλιν; “again”) and dromos (δρóμος; “way, direction”) by English writer Ben Jonson in the 17th century. The actual Greek phrase to describe the phenomenon is karkinikê epigrafê (καρκινικὴ επιγραφή; crab inscription), or simply karkinoi (καρκίνοι; crabs), alluding to the backward movement of crabs, like an inscription that can be read backwards.

How about that? And: in some contexts, crab actually means palindrome, or palindromous. (Palindromedary?) For instance, a crab canon is a palindromous piece of music. And Crab Canon is also the name of a palindromous section in Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach. And there is the Crab Carillon, a sculpture in San Diego made of 488 chimes; when struck by passing pedestrians the chimes play a palindromic song.

Crab palindrome indeed! Thank you, Lisa!

For the record: This month’s palindrome: BAR CRAB
And last month’s: RACE CAR
And the one before that: !HARRUH HURRAH! I think? Or was it Hurrah harruh? And were those exclamation points there? I really should write these things down.

Palindrome for March

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Holy chestnut-backed chickadees, Batman, it’s March! And it’s about danged time I got back into the palindrome habit. So, a bonus entry to take care of that item of business.

This month’s palindrome will be in honor of my sister and especially in honor of our friend Jeff Allen, who taught her this palindrome when we were kids:


Thanks, Emily! And thanks, Jeff! It’s good to be back in touch!


The squashing

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Earlier this week I went in for a skin check. I’d been putting it off for over a year, but then recently I read a description of a skin problem I recognized — a flaky little spot that never really heals or goes away — which turned out to be some kind of precancerous thing that should be removed. I’ve got some of that kind of spot. So, yikes! I finally got around to making the appointment.

[Aside: I’ve been on an appointment frenzy the last week or so. My car’s going in for routine maintenance, my baby finally got her 2nd of 2 flu shots, hmm what else… well that makes 3 appointments including the skin check, and 3 totally qualifies as an appointment frenzy for me. Go me!]

The skin check went well. The main spot of concern turned out to be nothing to worry about. The doctor did find two places that are like pre-precancerous, and froze them then and there. The freezing was neat. She used liquid nitrogen. It was in this steampunk-looking brass canister contraption. When she came at my arm with it I kind of flinched, and so she showed me how it works by shooting a little of it onto the paper table cover. But then it stopped working, so she opened up the canister and poured some into a styrofoam cup. It hissed and smoked like dry ice in water, but more exciting. She used a cotton swab to press it onto the two bad spots. It hurt! But was not unbearable. After she was done she poured the cup out directly onto the floor and we ooohed and aaahed at the instant evaporation. Like magic.

I showed her one last spot, almost as an afterthought — a place I’d been noticing for a while, where if I lift up my arm, I can see and feel an elongated sort of bump on the front of me, right next to my underarm area and above my milk area. When my arm isn’t raised there’s just a little bump under the surface of the skin, which is nothing at all weird for me. So I showed her that spot, just on the off chance that she might find it important, and she immediately did a breast exam and put in an order for a mammogram and ultrasound, with a possible bonus biopsy. Holy dang! Wasn’t expecting that.

So I scheduled an appointment for Friday morning. [Oh yeah! That makes 4! That one counts separately, doesn’t it?] It was kind of hard to have a normal week after that. The morning of, I was running late and all freaked out. Thank heavens for Big M, who helped me get out the door — and who had offered, late one night earlier this week, to come running to the hospital to be with me in case a biopsy was called for. My hero.

It had been a while since I’d had a mammogram. I’ve had several, starting when I was about 24, because of a lump that turned out to be not-cancer. Sometime in my 30s, they finally said Okay, nothing to see here, come back when you’re 40. And can I just tell you, between that first one a thousand years ago and this one, the technology has improved dramatically. As Julie Robichaux mentions in her brilliant pictorial, there is no longer any cold steel in contact with the delicate tissues. In fact at one point I noticed that the machine was pleasantly warm. That might sound kind of yucky, but it was actually quite comfortable: warm not as the warmth of sitting down in a recently vacated chair, which I have always found to be not ideal, but warm, as the warmth of a machine that has been deliberately warmed in just the right places for the comfort of the patient. I’m not sure how I could tell the difference. But it was obvious somehow that some machine designer was being really smart somewhere.

After the mammogram was done, I gathered up all my clothes and purse and water bottle and forms-to-still-fill-out and trundled down the hall to the ultrasound room. The radiologist in there was very kind and fast. Aaaaand, he said it was nothing! HURRAH! (cf. palindrome up top.) I asked if the mammogram results also said it was nothing, and he said he hadn’t seen them and I could ask my doctor. And he said I was free to go. No biopsy! I was and remain giddy with relief. A few minutes later, when I was dressed and almost ready to go, he came back and said that the mammogram also found no problem. Woohoo!

I left the building in a happy fog, and as I drove out of the garage, I decided a small celebration was in order. I pulled over and consulted the smart-phone oracle to find a nearby breakfast place, and wound up at a little coffee house on Capitol Hill that was reputed to have nice crepes. And indeed it did — Joe Bar, in case you’re in the vicinity. Right across from the Harvard Exit. I can’t remember the last time I had a crepe. It was a lemon & sugar crepe, and it was quite delicious. But you know, I think any decent thing would have tasted like manna from heaven at that point. I have not been that irrepressibly giddy in a while. At least not out in public.

Last: if you didn’t read Julie’s post yet, please do. It made me lol. I don’t use that term lightly.

Happy Palindromous Day!

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

01-02-2010, woo hoo!
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

Many thanks to Ellen for the heads-up and the awesome accompanying palindrome!