You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2007.

People.  If I’d moved to Seattle I’d be in shape, because just walking up and down the campus, damn, that’s some exercise.  Instead, I sit at home on the couch with my laptop.  Yeah.  Good choice.  On the other hand, of course, there’s the whole ‘didn’t want to leave Portland/expense/fitting in work with attending classes/people in Portland/etc’ thing.  Yeah.  Of course, there’s always actually, um, more exercise in Portland.  Lazy monster.

I was in class from 8am-5pm today.  Exhausted.  Dragged myself back to the hotel and collapsed with Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe (okay, what’s with the title?  I liked the ring of The Many Lives and Secret Sorrow of Josephine B.  That was fun.  This?  Sounds like a bad romance novel.  Or part of the voice-over from a movie preview.  “Tales of passion!  Tales of woe!  Coming soon to a theater near you!”)

Oh Lis!  Why did you have to move to Germany?  I miss hanging out with you and Tyler.  Our games of gin rummy.  Our little family dinners.  Instead, I’m pretending to be reading (yawn) an article for my 8am class tomorrow, but really I’m watching What Not to Wear.  Which I’ve never seen before.  But something about a hotel room just screams ‘turn on the TV.’  It really really makes me want some new clothes.

But, on the other hand, I’ve done a lot of people watching here at the U and I’ve got to say…Thank God I’m not an undergrad anymore.  No judgment, but these poor young people either looks frumpy or anemic.  It makes me feel older in the best possible way.   Not even so much clothes as just…sense of self.

Also, let’s talk about the cell phones.  And the fact that every other person on campus has one glued to the ear.  I’ve been guilty of this (thanks a lot, Jenna) and certainly that’s part of the point of cell phones – that you can talk with a friend, or take care of that pesky mysterious German medical title that appeared on your school library account, while you’re out of town.  But it’s like every single student MUST be on the phone ALL the time outside of class.  What gives?

About that whole baby girl vibe.  It’s a nice big boy instead, and apparently they’re having second thoughts about the boy name they’d chosen because I just got an email with pictures & weight stats, nothing else (including the actual birthday…)

In related news, I just found out that another old friend had her third.  Um, I didn’t know she was pregnant.  My mom’s all, “oh, I have pictures of Jen’s baby!”  And I’m all, “what baby?”  His name is Samuel and he was  born a week or two ago.  Poor Jen, she grew up with only little brothers and now she only has sons…But they are unbelieveably cute, so I guess it’s okay.

If you were one of the dozens of people who walked past my dining room window this morning (I really ought to start putting on more of a show), you might have been struck by a veritable picture of domesticity.  You may have seen me dart from sewing machine to baking muffins to pinning quilt pieces into a pattern.  I have measured and I have stitched and I have tested for doneness with a toothpick.  (We have reaped and we have sowed… except the spring version.)

I finished Inkheart.  I liked it.  Maybe my problem is with the translation?  The language never felt quite right…but I may be influenced by KNOWING it’s in translation.  Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed if I’d been oblivious.  The characters, though, were delicious.

Today is Day Four of No Work.  Perhaps the longest I’ve gone without working since…okay, maybe I had some time off in January, but I’m pretty sure I used all those days to go to school.  Tomorrow I work at the library, Thursday I drive to Seattle.  For school.

How am I celebrating my days of freedom, you ask?

By starting Quilt #2.  The cutting is done, and a bit of the sewing.  It’s fairly small, with largish pieces because I’m LAZY (sorry, Di).  But it is so pleasing to cast my gaze to the side and see it laid out, ready for my crafty hands to assemble it.

Today I thought to myself, “self, why haven’t you been reading much lately?” And I think the truthful answer is because I’m reading Inkheart, and I really really want to love it, but it’s really really not pulling me in.  My mind likes it, but my heart loveth it not.  And I’m trying to be good and only read one thing at a time (audio books excepted) and I just need to FINISH it.  Tell me it’s worth it, please?  Convince me?

This morning my mom and I went to the Japanese Garden, which is lovely and atmospheric in the drizzle and would be a lovely place to get away to, but $8?  Are you serious, Japanese Garden?  That’s a lot to pay for walking around for an hour and admiring your cunning little bridges and your raked gravel and your delicious variety of paving stones.  Also your budding trees and your waterfalls.  I know you have bills to pay, Garden, but if it weren’t for that handy dandy pass from the library, I would continue to live my life in Portland without ever visiting you.  I’d rather spend my $8 on more chocolate, because I’m fresh out.

Also, I forgot to take my camera, so instead of nature, here’s more fabric.  Mmm, fabric.

I just heard the news, five times removed from the source, that our Lily went into labor “this morning.”  First baby from the 2006 Wedding Season!

I call girl…any other guesses?

I seem to have a lot to say this weekend.  I can’t shut up.  I can’t shut up in general.  It’s the freakish social Lent thing, I think I’ll blame it on that.  Words, words, words.   Strangely, I’m not reading much.

Finally, my hands don’t smell like garlic.  I sucked down a lovely portion of salmon inbetween serving the bishop’s table and clearing the bishop’s table.  I always wonder, does the bishop really care if he gets a separate table with the clergy, does he enjoy the fuss and having someone pour his water for him?  Or does it feel strange to use the fine china while the rest of us scarf down from paper plates?  Hey, at least we had real wine glasses this year, no plastic.

Afterwards, the young ladies of the church (TYLOTC) had tea with our friend the sailing widow, and Q regaled us with her silly faces and Slavonic renditions of The Angel Cried.  The baby showed off her teeth.

I think I ought to start another quilt this week, particularly if this classic Oregon spring weather holds.  The fabric is taunting me from my sewing basket by the window.

6:30 pm: leave for church

7:00-9:30 pm: crack up inappropriately over everything from “the low estate of his handmaiden” to “alien darkness.”

9:50 pm: depart church

10:00-10:15 pm: frost cupcakes, vegan style

10:20 pm: make pancakes

10:25 pm: slight chance that I applied leftover frosting to pancake.  Possibly more than one.

10:35 pm: simultaneously turn on 24, burn pancake, and blog

10:40 pm: hands still smell like garlic from salmon prep

Today, I peeled and roughly chopped eight onions.  (It was kind of sad, all those onions with their lives cut short.)  Then I helped cut 60 pounds of salmon into single portions.  (I wasn’t really sad about that part, just looking forward eating it tomorrow.)  Then we dredged the salmon through a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, massive amounts of garlic, and herbs.  Then we piled them high in bus tubs to await tomorrow morning and the oven.

This is how we celebrate the beginning of our salvation.

I feel a festal troparion coming on.  If I weren’t listening to Josh Ritter, I’d be composing one right now, in the tone of the actual Annunciation troparion (tone four).

Today is the beginning of our salvation

And the end of the lives of these salmon…

Yeah, you so don’t want to hear the rest.

Now I’m home, and the vegan cupcakes are the oven.  The music is up loud, the sky is grey, and it’s back to church in two hours.  If you fell into a time warp and appeared in Lent, you would know the time of year from the fact that it’s almost always time to be going to church.  Church yesterday, today and tomorrow?  Check.  It’s Lent.  Which is not to complain, especially since I usually seem to stumble upon enough grace to get along with the eclectic company at church.  In fact, I often seem to embrace socialization.  It’s, um, weird.

Which is not to say that the young ladies of the church did not cut out of the soup supper last night and go get Thai food instead.  Not at all.  We just had a different variety of socialization in mind.

Also, why is it that when I’m in line at the grocery store (purchasing coconut oil, canned pumpkin, two apples, muffin cups, and salsa) and the clerk teases me about salsa cupcakes, I take him literally and say something inane, instead of going along with the joke?

(It’s exclamation point day)

This one’s been making the rounds and doesn’t have too many questions that irritate me.
Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?

Anything but mass market.  I like books that can lay open on the table while I eat.

Amazon or brick and mortar?

Either.  Amazon if I know what I want, b&m for browsing.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Powell’s.  It’s got the intellectual thing AND the coffee shop.  And the used books.  And it’s an entire city block.  And the parking garage is INSANE.

Bookmark or dogear?


Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?

Separated into hardcover and paperback, adult, children’s & picture books.  Alphabetized by author in each section.  Non-fiction loosely by subject (I don’t own much non-fiction).

Keep, throw away, or sell?

Keep, or donate if I don’t want it around anymore.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?

Keep it.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?

I own very few with dust jackets, I don’t really have a preference.  I would probably cover all my own books if I had the option.

Short story or novel?

Novel. All the way.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?


Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

Depends on the mood.  HP for adventure, LS for literary humor.  All of you that tried The Bad Beginning and gave up – you are missing out.  Things really get rolling around book six (The Ersatz Elevator), but once you lower your plot expectations, they become effing hilarious.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

Tired?  Who gets tired?  Who stops reading?  Chapter breaks only make you want to keep reading, who can stop there?

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?


Buy or Borrow?

Borrow from the library, then buy if I fall in love.

New or used?

Used.  Cheap.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?

Recommendation (my own or someone else’s).

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?

Whatever serves the story.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or night time reading?

As the opportunity arrives, the book is by my side.

Stand-alone or series?

I read more stand-alone, but I do enjoy a good series.

Favorite series?

All-time, Chronicles of Narnia.  Recent, Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief and so on.  Adult, Lord Peter Wimsey.

Favorite children’s book?

Maybe The Giver.  In a few minutes I’ll have a different answer.  Wait, The Maggie B.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

If I’m talking to people who don’t read children’s/YA, it’s bound to be one of those.  Just about anything I show up at job #2 with, no one’s heard of.

Favorite books read last year?

  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum
  • Broken for You
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
  • Case Histories
  • The King of Attolia
  • The Ear, the Eye and the Arm
  • Summerland
  • A True and Faithful Narrative
  • A Drowned Maiden’s Hair
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing
  • How I Live Now
  • Looking for Alaska
  • Saving Francesca
  • Feed

Favorite books of all time?

ALL TIME?  These questions are torture.  Pride & Prejudice stands alone in terms of rereads.

Least favorite book you finished last year?

Not the worst, but the one I was most disappointed in: Headlong by Michael Frayn.

What was the last book you finished?

The Case of the Missing Books.

What are you reading right now?

Inkheart, Whale Talk, and I Am the Messenger.

What are you reading next?

Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe (the next Josephine book), Ali and Nino, Maude March on the Run, Esperanza Rising, Just Listen, or Peace Like a River (I keep putting this aside).  Hmm, fewer options on the bookshelf than I thought.

  • Anyone else following the Tournament of Books?  I’ve only read a couple (Arthur & George and One Good Turn) but I like reading the judging anyway.  And having opinions.
  • I’m contemplating the whole “calling in sick to job #2 in order to go to church” thing again.  And by contemplating I mean that I’m debating how to phrase it when I call in sick.  I can work job #1 (library all the way) tomorrow and get off at the perfect time to go to Pre-Sanc and chill with the bishop (who is now, apparently, even bishopier than he was before.  Axios.)  It will only be my 2nd Pre-Sanc of Lent.  I’ll only miss a measly 3 hour shift.
  • Sunday is Annunciation.  What do I bake?  I’ve got some pretty mad vegan baking skills going on, especially with the introduction of coconut oil into my life.  I’m thinking about some chocolatey cupcakes.
  • 24.  I’m watching it.  Last season.  As Jack would say, “we’re running out of time!”  I’ve got to get through two whole discs by tomorrow if I’m turning that puppy in on time.  Not gonna happen.
March 2007

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