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  1. Sleep! I got enough sleep last week for the first time in months. This weekend, I felt like myself for the first time in a long time, and it meant I could do things other than just stare at my computer screen. I even, after being exhausted from cooking and the heat, went to bed early yesterday.

  2. Writing! Because I was with it in the morning, I met my writing goals first thing in the morning, which let me then go on with my day without feeling anxious about them. I didn't do much other writing, although I did poke at my cupcakes and space station threesome before I got distracted by a recipe not being where I thought it was.

  3. Environmental management! I'm being mindful of the fact that I melt down in the summer and trying to manage the part of that that might be linked to being too hot. I had the fans on all weekend, and I reset the programming on my thermostat to 79 degrees instead of 80.

  4. [ profile] norwich36! We had dinner on Saturday, which is always delightful. I'm glad she was willing to indulge my craving for a sandwich! (We have a local place that makes vegan, gluten free sandwiches. I'm currently obsessed with the pesto tofu one.)

  5. Lunch with Brad and [ profile] stevie_roch! When we go to the movies, we usually eat before or after - and if we eat before, we stand around the movie theater lobby talking for a while after the movie. Last weekend, they were out of town and drove very fast to meet me at the theater for the 6:30 X-Men showing. That meant we got out of the movie late and didn't stand around talking as usual. So when we had lunch this weekend, we had a chance to do further chatting about the movie. We remain baffled that we're the only people we know who didn't like it.

  6. Sherlock on DVD! See the previous post for more detail, raving, and spoilers.

  7. Errands! I did errands this weekend, some of which I'd been putting off for months. I also broke them into manageable bits, even though it meant I headed to the other end of town (a whole two freeway exits away) twice. At no point did I say, "This is not worth my time," out loud and leave a store in disgust. (You may laugh, but I have actually done this before.)

  8. Pier One! Approximately five or six years ago, I bought these cool drinking glasses from Pier One. They're colorless glass with a spiral around them of color - some of them red and some blue. I've broken a few over the years, and I've recently become an orange juice drinker and wanted to own more than one juice glass. I actually went to Pier One just to see what they have, thinking that of course they wouldn't still carry these. Much to my surprise and delight, they still have them and my cabinet is restocked.

  9. Cooking! Because I felt more like myself, I did a lot of cooking. My cupcakes came out vinegary, my bread was too wet, and my frosting separated, but I'm still glad I got to do some cooking. My roasted apples came out perfectly. We'll see how they do in the final product: the apple-cinnamon toastie from the first Babycakes cookbook.

  10. Fiction! I did not actually read anything from [ profile] bandombigbang, but I did read some Sherlock fic and about a third of the third book in Morgan Howell's The Shadowed Path trilogy. (I will probably have more to say about this once I finish it.)
Takeaways from this list:
  1. I should get enough sleep all the time. I'm a lot happier and I get more done when I do.

  2. Friends: yay!

  3. Everyday things can be a source of pleasure, joy, and awesome.
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I hate most of my clothes, and I've decided a new fall/winter wardrobe is more than worth the money. (It helps that I actually have money to spend on this.)

What I really want is someone who can look at me, listen to what I want in clothes, and then either go shopping with me or tell me what I should be buying. But in the absence of that, I'll take any advice you have to give on the subject.

I am very picky about clothes. )
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Today I'm thankful for Target. They always have what you need, even when what you need is a small, inexpensive cactus. I am also thankful that I did not poke myself with the cactus after putting it in the cup holder, which, I belatedly realized, is alarmingly close to the gear shift.
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Torquere Books sent me a note saying their shopping cart system was down, and they were working hard to get it back up. Five hours later, they send out a second notice. They have a workaround, but their workaround forces them to charge 1% tax and $.01 shipping on every order. To make up for this, they're offering a coupon for 5% off on all orders until it's resolved.

There are two books from Torquere that I want. One of them is $3.95 (I'd save 20 cents), and then other is 5.95 (I'd save 30 cents). I already spent most of this month's book budget on From Eroica With Love volume 13. I overspent my book budget in June, drastically overspent in May, and underspent in every other month so far, with the record being April where I didn't buy any books. And now that I've done the math, I think I've talked myself into buying both books I want from Torquere. But I'm going to buy them with the suspicion that I've been had.
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Okay, maybe not slutty, but definitely sexy. As I've mentioned, my ten-year reunion is this summer. I can get a second wearing out of my dress by wearing it to the rehearsal dinner for [ profile] allegram and [ profile] dedalvs's wedding.

Does anyone have any experience with Victoria's Secret's clothes? Specifically:
  1. Their dresses. I particularly like the curvy jersey ruched dress, the knot-front curvy jersey dress, the v-neck curvy jersey dress, and the sleeveless wrap dress. (Hmm... There's a theme there.) I don't have a good picture of me now, but if you've seen me recently and have any ideas about what (of those or other things) would look good on me, I'd love to hear it.
  2. Their sizing. More specifically, does anyone know how Victoria's Secret sizing compares to JC Penney (my pants are a.n.a. size 8) and Eddie Bauer (I'm wearing size S shirts, although weirdly I think the long sleeve S are a little big, while the short sleeve seem to be mostly right).
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Today, I'm thankful for See's Candy. Since I read that article on chocolate in The New Yorker and went to Powell's Sweet Shoppe, I've been craving chocolate. Today, I was going to the mall anyway, so I remembered to take the $5 gift card I got for Easter in 2006 and go in to See's. It's so yummy.
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Today I'm thankful for the Farmers Market. For $2.25, I got seven Fuji apples that are of better quality than the ones I bought from S&S last week. There were also a whole bunch of cute, small children, even before 9:00 in the morning.
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I just went to Safeway for cake (yes, I am the kind of woman who will drive to the grocery store at 8:00 for a single slice of cake. Bad for my health and the environment, I know. But fudge iced cake: sogood.) The female half of the couple in front of me (Demographics: They were older than high school, under forty. I think they were younger than me, but I'm no good at that sort of thing.) in line leaned over the little slide your card thing and shelf to watch my slice of cake as it went all the way down the conveyor belt, and then said, "That looks hella good."

Apparently "hella" is still current. It's one of only two northern-southern California regionalisms that I know about, and certainly my favorite.

Just a week or so ago I read a comment online from someone who said she'd never heard "hella" until she moved to Southern California and heard it from people from Northern California. I wish I could remember where or why I read that.

(This junk food entry is taking the place of the real entries and emails I'm not writing. And, darn, if I'd waited until tomorrow, it would have been exactly a month between entries.)
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This is the sixth in an occasional series.

Remember when Gap jeans weren't working for me? Well, soon after that, I got some pants from Eddie Bauer, and they were too big, which finally knocked some sense into my head.

When things don't fit, my first thought is that the style doesn't work for me. I never think to try a different size.

So I finally went to JC Penney and tried on jeans two sizes below what I was wearing, and with my coupon, bought all four pairs of this year's versions of what I wore last year that they had in stock.

I now wear a size 8. 8! That's a single-digit number! I almost couldn't buy the pants. If I hadn't had a coupon that expired that day, I might not have.

Some time after I bought jeans at Penney's, I went to Old Navy without much hope of finding anything pants-wise, but browsing anyway. I discovered that some of their pants come in lengths short enough for me to wear. So I was trying one a pair of them, a stretchy kind, and they didn't fit right. Because I had finally realized sizing might be an issue, I went out and got the next size down. And then nearly panicked because their size 6 stretchy pants fit me, although I actually didn't like the style on me. I had half-heartedly planned to do more shopping that day, but I had to go home instead.
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This is the fifth in an occasional series.

When all my pants were too big, I decided I would wait until fall to buy new ones because I would just wear skirts all summer. The flaw in this plan is that it's freezing in my office (something that was not true last summer), so even when it's 100 outside, I'm wearing jeans and socks and shoes to work. (This is also why I gave up my hunt for good sandals. If I'm only wearing them for a few hours on weekends, I can wear the cheap, mildly uncomfortable ones.)

I can no longer stand my pants. All my jeans are one size too big, and my khaki-style pants (which I have to wear once a week because I don't own quite enough jeans) are two sizes too big. I hate them all. And, of course, Penney's no longer carries either pant, so I can't just replace them with the same thing in a different size (which is how I prefer to shop).

My strategy, the last couple of times I've been in Penney's, was to find any pants in my size in a fabric I didn't hate and try them on. Last time I was there, I tried on a pair of pants, looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "Oh, yeah, I've tried these on again." They're actually extremely comfortable, but I don't like the style. Between the cut and the vertical pinstripes, they make my legs look weirdly skinny.

I've been reading all sorts of blogs recently (possibly more on that later), and one of them was raving about Gap jeans, so I thought I'd go try them on and see if they were worth it. The second pair I tried on had the same weird skinny effect on my legs. Then I put on my own jeans, and they didn't look that different.

Here's my revelation: When I look at myself in the mirror, I'm usually only looking at my top half. If I'm using the long mirror in my closet to look at the top and bottom halves of myself, I'm usually wearing belly dance clothes, which means harem pants or a large skirt.

It's not the clothes; it's my body.

This, of course, shot my concentration all to hell, and even though I tried on a few more pair of jeans, I have no idea which styles would work for me. (This is hard to determine anyway because they don't carry petites in store, which means the space for the hips hits below my hips and looks weird.) Once I thought about it, I realized that I'd actually noticed this in the context of the pool. Last summer, I would swim laps until I was tired, backfloat for a bit, then swim more laps until I was tired, and then get out. This summer, I'm just swimming laps and then getting out of the pool, but I still like a little relaxation in the water after my laps. I no longer float. Or rather, only the top half of me floats. My legs just slowly sink into the water. Presumably this is because muscle is more dense than fat, and a lot of the fat in my legs has been converted to muscle. So yay to muscle, but boo to not being able to float anymore.
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[ profile] norwich36 and I arrived before the rest of our party, so we sat ourselves down at the end of the line. This put us right behind two gay boys named (and I swear I'm not making this up) Jesse and James. One of them was very good at Apples to Apples, which [ profile] norwich36 bought for us to pass the time. The other one has pole-danced in nine-inch heels. Because he used to live with a lesbian stripper. Reality continues to trump fiction.

And now to have breakfast and read the book.
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Okay, so I could look it up and tell you how long it's been, but that's not as entertaining.

Part 1: Watching

The Classics
I watched The Godfather for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I had the same problem with it that I had with Star Wars and The Silence of the Lambs. All three of those movies are so embedded in our common culture that the original thing just isn't that interesting. Also, it's really dated. There's a sex scene, and I figured they'd fade to black before she got her top off. But no, they let her take of her top. And she has no nipples. I was too startled to even laugh.

I watched Singin' In the Rain for the first time on Saturday. It was pretty good, but the scene with Cyd Charisse in green made no sense. I don't know if I missed the set-up or if it really doesn't make sense.

The Other Kind of Classic
I wasn't paying attention to my queue and ended up with both discs of The Tick at once. I'd forgotten how funny it really is. I had to promptly watch the live-action version. I have to admit that in the long-term, I prefer the live-action version. It's much slashier overall, although you can't deny the Tick/Arthur-ness of "The Tick Vs. Arthur's Bank Account." Even Dot tries to help get them back together!

I also Netflixed some Murphy Brown. It's still hilarious.

At The Movies
I saw the last showing of Flicka. I loved it! I also cried through a lot of it, and I'm pretty sure that wasn't just because I was PMSing. There's a reason I take Kleenex to the movies with me.

The boys and I saw Stranger Than Fiction. I was the only one who'd wanted to see it since we saw trailers, Brad was convinced by the reviews somewhere he reads, and [ profile] fuseji was skeptical. We all loved it, so much so that I think I've regained some credibility with the boys. I'm amazed by how good an actor Will Ferrell is when he's not totally over the top.

I'm completely taken with The Class. Between the geeky couple in love, the gay guy and his partner who hate the woman married to the stereotypically gay guy, the guy in love with the woman married to the football player, and Jason Ritter and the tough girl, it's both hilarious and touching.

Name That Show
For some reason, I keep remembering a scene from a TV show, but I can't remember what show. I think it takes place in a bar. There are three guys and a woman. They're all friends, and the guys have made donations so the woman can be artificially inseminated. She comes to tell them the results. One cup had no swimmers. The guy has to admit he's had a vasectomy. One cup was empty. The guy (the young one, I think) says that, these days, he doesn't do anything without a condom. And then it's the third one who has viable sperm. I have no idea why I keep thinking about this, and I have no clue what show it was.

Part 2: Reading

A Real Book
I read Catherine Asaro's The Veiled Web last week. I bought it for $.01 plus shipping from Amazon marketplace; I figured that even if it was a scam and I never got the book, the most I would lose is $3.50.

Anyway, the book is not very good. The main character alternates between being completely stupid and knowing too much. She doesn't get it most of the time, but she can identify machine guns. It makes no sense. There's also an issue with the technology of the world. It was written in 1999 and takes place in 2010. Her projection into the future not only doesn't hold up (very few people in her future use the internet), but the technology is way over-explained. Anyone who's read even a little bit of AI sci fi will catch on way before she even gets halfway through any bit of explanation.

What was interesting enough to keep me reading was the relationship. It wasn't very good either, but interesting as part of Catherine Asaro's oeuvre. It's the same relationship pattern you see in a lot of her work.

Boarding School AUs
I recently read what there is so far of [ profile] bethynycfics' School!Verse, a Giles/Wesley boarding school AU. I love it!

An AU that must be: Spike/Angel boarding school AU. Please tell me if there is such a thing, and where I might find it.

Part 3: Listening To

Arabic Pop
Remember how I liked the Natacha Atlas song on Arabic Groove? Well, I went back to Tower and bought her Mish Maoul, and I really like it. I discovered as I was in my period of listening to it all the time and left the CD at home that you can listen to the whole album online. "Feen" (track 2) is my current favorite song.

Aubrey Debauchery
I went to see Aubrey on Friday night, at the Coco Caffe, which is itty-bitty. Aubrey's parents were there, sitting near me. Some other people came in, and her mom moved from the couch to sit half on her dad's lap. Aubrey, of course, sings a lot about sex. (In her newest song, she says, "I want to introduce you to my kitchen floor.") When I got home, the neighbors were having sex in their living room with the windows open.

Fiction Like Candy
There were two other bands playing with Aubrey. I stayed through Aubrey's set and two and a half songs into Fiction Like Candy's set. I was sick, and they weren't good enough to sit through. And I burned my tongue on my tea. I think I've burned my tongue every single time I've ever had tea. Anyway, Fiction Like Candy's lead singer sounds like somebody, and it's driving me crazy. If you have a moment to listen, let me know who she sounds like.

Monica Schroeder
At John Scalzi's behest, I started listening to Monica Schroeder at MySpace. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy her CD or if she's just a Sarah McLachlan clone.

The local Top 40 station switched to the Bob format. "We play anything." I thought it was dumb at first. But then I heard "Ice Ice Baby" three times in the first week. I've heard "The Right Stuff" a couple of times recently. They keep playing "Friends in Low Places." It's growing on me.

Part 4: Doing

My current favorite food is pita with hummus. I was not happy with my pita options at S&S, so I've been making my own pita. It's pretty good, and I'm sure it'll be even better now that I actually own a pastry brush and they shouldn't get over-oiled.

I've also attempted to make wheat bread, which isn't going so well. The first time, it didn't rise enough and it was too salty. The second time, it was better, but still not quite right. Now I have an 8-inch loaf pan instead of a 9-inch loaf pan, and I'm hoping that will help.

Shopping - Holiday
I know what I'm getting almost everyone on my list, and I'm ordering most of it online. I keep debating with myself. I could do it now, and get it over with. But I have an issue with doing my holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.

Shopping - Clothes
I'm looking for a dress for my cousin's New Year's Eve wedding reception now. I liked a couple of things at Weekend Wearhouse (warning: their website has a godawful fuchsia background), but the L was too small and the XL was too big. (I think the one I really liked is this one, in burgundy.) I have had no luck anywhere else. Luckily, I have to go to Sacramento for a meeting in two weeks, so I can go shopping there then.

In the process of dress shopping, I discovered that I've gone down yet another size. Like last time, my pants being too big didn't bother me until I noticed it. Now it's driving me crazy. I'm half-tempted to stop exercising and start eating junk food just so I don't have to buy a new wardrobe all over again.
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  1. Took two CDs, two books, and the Chronicles of Narnia boxed set to the library book sale.

  2. Did not buy anything at the library book sale.

  3. Did acquire a swimsuit, two DVDs, and a book when my Amazon orders arrived. The book and DVDs were the rest of an order which also included the Keep Your Distance soundtrack, which arrived earlier this week. I'm not sold on the album yet, although I love Graciela Perrone's "Sepia Night." I'm a little disappointed in the album version of "Right in Front of You," which has some female backup singers that seem out of place.

  4. Hung up the Firefly pictures that have been sitting on my floor since February. They look very cool in a two-tiered cascade down the wall. Tomorrow I may attempt to tackle the other pictures, which require fabric hanging, which requires furniture moving.

  5. Watched Drive Me Crazy (acquired in number 3 above), and had a "hey, you kids, get off my lawn" moment about how they just don't make teen movies like they used to. I also recognized Eddie (Jordan Bridges) and spent about half an hour wondering where else I'd seen him before I realized he was Nick on Conviction. I'd also forgotten that Keri Lynn Pratt was in it. I have a completely inexplicable thing for her. Maybe it's because she's adorable and has an immediately recognizable voice.

  6. Returned a bag to Target and rebought the same bag in a different color. I saved myself two dollars on the venture by returning and rebuying. The funniest part: I intended to do a straight exchange, but the woman at the customer service counter talked me into doing a return and then buying another one with anything else I was going to buy.

  7. Attended a benefit for someone I work with and her sister, who have hereditary stomach cancer of the same type, I think, that you may have read about recently. They had belly dancers as part of the entertainment, and they made me really appreciate my belly dance teacher. I did not have enough cash to actually win anything in the dessert auction, but none of it looked that unmissable anyway. I only lasted about two and a half hours before it became too much, but much of that two and a half hours was fun.
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Home Decor 1
I went out and bought a second DVD shelf today. I also bought frames and mats for my new fannish photos. It seems like a lot less when you divide it out into a per picture cost.

Of course, while doing this, I realized that I have no Inara. Boo! I'll be acquiring an Inara photo, and I think nine photos will be better arrangable than eight.

Home Decor 2
I matted the Giles and Willow photos with a white and dark blue mat and put them in white frames. My walls are a creamier white. It looks okay, but it would look better on, say, a dark blue. I'm in an apartment where painting is not so much of an option (and also messy). So I have an idea and I need some advice as to whether this seems like a good idea, bad idea, whatever. The space where I'm going to put the pictures is a strip between the corner of the room and the window. So my thought is that if I bought some dark blue cloth, I could hang the cloth on the wall to give it some color and then hang the pictures over that. I think if I turned the edges of the cloth under and ran the nails through the turned down edges, then the edges would look neat without any sewing and the nails would be hidden.

Home Decor 3
I've decided to take down the Harry Potter Legos (yes, I know the official plural is Lego). I still want the action figures out, but the Legos are less like fun and more like clutter now. I'll be storing them away to see if I change my mind.

Test 1, 2, 3. Anything but that.
Could someone email me and leave a comment saying they've done so? I've sent a lot of email in the past couple of days but not gotten much other than LJ comments. It's possible that it's just that no one's emailing me, but since I had severe email problems I didn't even know about once before, I thought I'd check.
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Indigo Girls
My parents and I went to see the Indigo Girls a couple of weeks ago. Their opening band, Three5Human, has what we later found out is a great singer, but their sound mix was off so you couldn't hear her and their sound itself is pretty generic rock.

But after them was the Indigo Girls, and they were awesome. Just awesome. Their whole show is just the two of them with an ever-rotating selection of guitars against a colored background. And they were fantastic and the audience was totally into it.

The audience itself was interesting. We saw Ani DiFranco a couple of years ago, and the place was full of lesbians my age. The audience for Indigo Girls was full of middle-aged lesbians with an additional assortment of families and straight couples.

There was some moment of their performance that made me think of the scene in Arrow's Flight where Dirk and Talia sing "Sun and Shadow." So I went to Barnes & Noble to read that scene and any other good bits of the trilogy. They had Arrows of the Queen and Arrow's Fall, but not Arrow's Flight.

John Cleese
Last week we went to see John Cleese, who, like the Indigo Girls, came to Chico State. I expected him to be a lot better than he was. He was good, but not awesome. The best joke was at the beginning: "This is the first time we've played at a college named after a comedian. On Tuesday we'll be at Harpo and next week we'll be playing Karl." The audience didn't get it.

Guys and Dolls
Last night's cultural experience was the Chico Cabaret production of Guys and Dolls. The chorus was a little weak, but it was a ton of fun. Adelaide was especially good.

I also realized something during "I'll Know." Back in the day, we saw the Chico City Light Opera production twice, and I had a huge crush on the guy playing Sky Masterson. But last night, I realized that I'm really just in love with Sky Masterson. If he were real, I'd go to Havana for dinner with him any day.

History Sneaks Up On Us
One of the things we have to remember as writers is that people are always going to bring their own stuff to our stories. I know this, but I sometimes forget how that applies to things other than writing. I've had a couple of those kinds of experiences recently.

Experience 1 )

Experience 2 )

Something New
I went to see Something New last week. Spoilers )

Second Sight
I've been watching Second Sight. Spoilers )

Computer Maintenance
Today I disassembled and reassembled my computer. (If you got email from me dated July 19, 2001, it's because I didn't realize the clock had reset itself.) This was not just a random thing. I bought a new and prettier case, and a quieter power supply and CPU fan. I also bought a DVD burner, but it remains in the clutches of UPS. I had planned to go buy washers to cushion the hard drive (the hard drive vibrating against the case is one of the big sources of computer noise), but my new case actually came with them. My computer is now much, much quieter, and much more attractive. It also fits under my desk, which means I have more room on either side of the desk to get to my bookshelves and couch.

Complex Chore Chart Dilemma
Note to those of you trying to parse this section heading: it's the chore chart, not the dilemma that's complex.

In an attempt to get into a regular exercise schedule, I've created myself a chore chart. It has various yoga and belly dancing things as well as lifting weights, and I assigned points to everything. My goal is 93 points a week, which I could get by doing each thing on the chart three days a week. (In reality, I'm doing the yoga stuff way more often, doing nothing on days when I have yoga class--class doesn't count for the chart--and catching up on the weekend. I may need to adjust the point values next month.)

Here's my dilemma: Some of the things on the chart could be done while watching TV. On the one hand, that would help me actually do them more often. On the other hand, if I do them while watching TV, I'm not really focussing on my body, and I somewhat think that's part of what I should be doing.

My Target shopping trip was largely successful today--Bewitched on sale for $10, new shower curtain, two-pound weights, and vacuum cleaner--but the hot security guard wasn't there today. Every time I see her, I think, "If I were a different kind of person, I would totally hit on her."

Slightly Better This Year
I've made some Valentine's Day cards, which is better than last year, but I don't actually have the right size envelopes and I didn't make it to the post office today, so very few people will get valentines from me on or before Valentine's Day.
rsadelle: (Default)
I'm looking for a non-evil place to buy DVDs at a reasonable price. I won't go into Blockbuster, Best Buy, or Circuit City anymore; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Tower are very expensive; and Target's selection is pretty limited. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Lesson 1
When grating cheese, be careful of your grip. Grate only the cheese, not your knuckles.

Lesson 2
Next to the door of the synagog is an intercom with a sign that says, "Doorbell. Push to talk. Release to listen." Isn't that the truth.

Good Thing 1
My boss complimented my outfit today. Twice.

Good Thing 2
Listening to the Once More With Feeling soundtrack this afternoon made me happy, and then I realized that Sky gave me her tape of the episode, which I will be watching as soon as Threshold is over. Mmm, Threshold.

Good Thing 3
When I came home today, the new Kane CD was on my porch! I haven't listened to it yet, but I'm very excited about it. So excited that I promptly broke off one of the corners on the plastic case while taking the shrink wrap off. Doh!


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Ruth Sadelle Alderson


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