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I miss my weather pixie. The white box with a red "X" is just not as cheerful or informative.

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Today was really wonderful. I got to sleep in this morning, my laundry was pretty much finished - at least to the point where I could, and did, ignore it, I got to talk to my mom, and then things got even better. My coworker, Ron, called and offered us four tickets to see The Fantasticks at Music Circus tonight. He and his wife had been on vacation for four weeks, then came home on Friday only to leave for an out-of-town wedding the next day, then got back this afternoon too tired to use their tickets. We gratefully accepted, thanked them for the tickets and took the boys with us to see the show. It was very well done and even C, who had expressed disdain for musical theater on the way, enjoyed himself. After, we went to PF Chang's for dessert. Banana spring rolls are the best. /drools

Life is good.

I don't even mind the thought of going back to work tomorrow. Maybe that's only because I have lots of pictures and goodies to share, but I'm still surprised. :-)

Oh, and my friend, D, called this afternoon and invited me to sing a duet with her this coming Sunday. We're meeting tomorrow to figure out what to sing. Since we've both been on trips since we've seen each other, we'll probably do more talking than rehearsing, but that's okay. We're used to singing together and have compatible rehearsal styles, so unless we pick a terribly difficult piece (unlikely) we should be fine. That reminds me - I need to go dig out my songbooks for tomorrow.
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#75 The Experiment by John Darnton
#76 Fluke: or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore
#77 Glasswright's Master by Mindy Klasky
#78 Fastforward by Robert Sawyer
#79 Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan

I've had such a wonderful time visiting here with my family. It's going to be so hard to say good-bye tomorrow morning. We spent most of the morning sitting out on the back patio talking and observing all the nature around us.

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We're leaving now for vacation. I'll post a summary with pictures when we get back.

/waves 'bye
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One of my patients dropped by today and brought us presents - wood cut fans. Evidently she has had these for more than 30 years. They are so pretty!

I feel so special! We keep telling her that she doesn't need to bring anything when she comes in. She keeps saying that she knows, but that she likes to do it, so we thank her, smile, and appreciate what she brings.

73, 74/150

Jun. 29th, 2004 12:46 pm
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#73: The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snickett. Another episode in the seemingly unending misfortunes of the Budelaire children. I liked the fact that Sunny had a noticably larger part in this book.

#74: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. I picked this book up after having read about it in Douglas Adams' The Salmon of Doubt. As you might deduce, this book deals with genes and how they benefit themselves. It was interesting, but a little dry. Parts of it were more repetitive than I like, but I suppose that was done to reinforce the ideas. When this book was first written, it may have been cutting egde, but since so many ideas from it are now more commonplace, it felt like a very long review of what I've learned in biology and genetics classes. The best part of the book to me was the chapter with introductory game theory (used to describe how cooperation between genes is mutually beneficial).

Yay me!

Jun. 26th, 2004 04:40 pm
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I made it through my first recital performance this afternoon. I have to go back at 7 for the second one, but I feel better about it now that I have survived the first one. The audience (packed with an entire afternoon's worth of dancers' friends and family) was terrific and hooted and hollered for us all through our dance. Hubby was there and said that our group received the most applause of any group in the show! I'm happy. :-)

We're still deciding on how to time our driving for our vacation. I've decided that I need to work backward; figure the driving times between each definite stop and then decide how long we can stay at each stop.

[ profile] dawni, we are definitely planning to spend at least a day in Victoria. I'll let you know when that will be so we can see if we can get together. I'd love to get a chance to meet in person. :-)

[ profile] texaswren, we'll be traveling through northern Texas as well. Is there any day of the week that you might be able to meet for lunch or tea? I don't know if I'll be near enough for a Tuesday night meetup (if y'all have one scheduled), but an informal meetup would be great. We'll be in Ardmore, OK between the 8th and the 13th - we have a family reunion on Saturday.

[ profile] carianne, it's likely that we'll start out by heading through Las Vegas. Do you think you might have time to meet for a little while on the 4th or the morning of the 5th?

After the reunion, we're going to be winging it for a week or so before heading into BC. Hubby wants to check out Calgary and friends have strongly recommended Banff. Knowing that we'll only have a few days, is there anything else that we should try to see before heading off to Victoria (where Buchard [sp?] gardens are on the "must see" list)?

If I'm forgetting that someone else lives in the vicinity of our trip, please let me know. I'm feeling very scatter-brained right now, but I'd like to meet as many of you as can conveniently spare the time.

Oops, I need to go run an errand or two before the next performance. "Don't fall down or forget the routine" thoughts gratefully accepted. :-)


Jun. 22nd, 2004 09:20 pm
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C was given this huge purple pillow last month. He left it in the middle of the living room floor today and Sparky found it as soon as she came in. I think she knows that she's not supposed to be on it, but she looks so cute there that I didn't shoo her off. I hope the pictures show up - they're kind of dark... )

Today was a loooonnnngggg day at work. Every patient took longer than normal, plus I had my student working with me today - that always slows things down. I expect the next week and a half to be full of long days like this - it's the price I pay for taking a vacation next month. [10 days and counting!]

I was too tired to plan anything for dinner, so we had breakfast. I was so happy - my milk gravy turned out really well. I haven't made it in years, so I wasn't sure that it would (it rarely did before), but I had a craving for it as soon as I decided to do breakfast foods for dinner. We had bacon & eggs with biscuits and gravy. Yum!


Jun. 20th, 2004 09:28 pm
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#69: The Sword of Maiden's Tears by Rosemary Edghill.
#70: The Cup of Morning Shadows by Rosemary Edghill.
#71: The Cloak of Night and Daggers by Rosemary Edghill.

As you might surmise, the set of books above form a trilogy. These were enjoyable even though they were fairly predictable. There were very few surprises, but they were entertaining.

#72: Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind. This is another book in the Sword of Truth series. It seems silly to suggest that the plot of a fantasy series is becoming more improbable with each new book, but I'm afraid that the author may be reaching too far to keep the series alive. This wasn't a horrible book but it wasn't terribly exciting either. At this point I am ready to see a little resolution for the main characters, but I fear there may be no end in sight. Will this stop me from buying the next book in the series to see if there is a conclusion in sight? Probably not.
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It happened over 15 years ago. I was a young wife, eager to bake from scratch my hubby's favorite cake to impress him and further cement my place in his heart. I lovingly bought the ingredients, assembled them according to instruction, placed the batter in a pan, cooked at the appropriate temperature for the alloted time, and eagerly opened the oven to remove my masterpiece. Alas, it was an unlovely fallen cake, very gooey in the middle and resembling fudge or undercooked brownies. I have not baked another since.

Until today.

I decided that I couldn't let a recipe get the best of me forever, so I set out on an adventure very similar to that of 15 years ago. Once again I assembled the ingredients and lovingly prepared the cake, even though it is no longer hubby's favorite. I felt sure that the mistake I had made long ago could be explained by the fact that I had folded in the beaten egg-whites with a mixer instead of by hand. This time I mixed everything correctly.

It smelled heavenly while it was baking. My son and I were feeling drooly as we went about our afternoon's entertainment in the room adjoining the kitchen, he playing his video games and I reading. The timer beeped. I sauntered to the oven, mitt on hand, to remove the symbol of my triumph. I opened the oven - it was still wet in the middle.


I decided to leave it in there for another few minutes. I checked on it anxiously every minute or two by peeking through the oven door. Please - oh please, I hoped, let this one turn out.

It was not to be. The edges of the cake, so lovely and moist when the timer first beeped its hopeful message, are not quite as firm as a dried sponge. The middle, that stubbornly soggy realm that cried out for more time, is cooked to an edible consistency, but is not the mouth-watering invitation to gustatory ecstasy that I had envisioned.

I cried a little inside as I saw what had become of my cake, but I decided that I must not let myself be overcome by this failure. I have another bar of german chocolate in the cupboard. I know I will try again someday, and I will overcome this blot on my otherwise excellent baking record.

Maybe next time I should use the three 9-inch round pans that the recipe suggests instead of a 9x12 oblong.
rendiru: (Default)
How to make a Rendiru

5 parts pride

5 parts humour

5 parts empathy
Blend at a low speed for 30 seconds. Serve with a slice of curiosity and a pinch of salt. Yum!

67, 68/150

Jun. 12th, 2004 02:02 pm
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#67: Eats, Shoots & Leaves The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. I'm not a true stickler, but I had fun reading this book. I think that this may be about as fun as grammar gets.

#68: The Pillars of Creation by Terry Goodkind. This has been awaiting its turn to be read for so long that the next book in the series is already out and in Mt. TBR. I enjoyed the book, but I wish I had read the earlier books a little more recently so I could remember the tie-ins better.
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I was such a slug on Saturday. I got up around 7:30, read for several hours, then went back to bed at noon for a four hour nap. Got up, read some more, went to bed. It was a good day.

Sunday morning I awoke with the sun, which was a Very Good Thing. I had set my alarm for 6:45 to make sure that hubby and I had plenty of time to get ready for church since we had to be there before 8:00. I was very proud of myself for remembering to set the alarm. Unfortunately, it was set for pm instead of am. Still, I woke up about 15 minutes before it was scheduled to go off. I considered rolling over and snoozing until I heard it, but thankfully mother nature had other ideas.

We got to church on time, which was very good because the tenors were worried that hubby wouldn't be there (he sings first tenor). He had missed rehearsal on Wednesday because he had to work, and there was a chance that he would have to work on Sunday as well. This was a really bad weekend to have to work - it was Cantata Sunday. Now, understand, we didn't do a cantata, but each service is taken over entirely by the various choirs. The chancel choir (adults) sang 10 songs, the children's choir did 4 pieces, the cherub choir (3- and 4-year-olds) did one song, and the bell choir did the offeratory. We also had a brass ensemble and a bass guitar accompanying (sp?) us on several of the songs. I made the mistake of forgetting my water bottle for the first service. I was starting to croak toward the end. Fortunately, we had an hour between the two services and I was able to go home to grab my water when we picked up our son, so the second service wasn't nearly as hard on my voice.

Cantata Sunday marks the end of choir season for this church year. It will start back in September. We had our choir party on Sunday evening. As usual, I sampled way too much yummy stuff. I had my first encounter with Sangria at the party (yum!) and everyone had a good time.

In between church and the party, we took the boys to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I really enjoyed it, but was a little frustrated at some of the things that were left out. I was particularly frustrated that Snape's involvement with Professor Lupin's problem wasn't shown in the movie; it left his character looking two-dimensional where the book really started to fill in the back story and explain his animosity toward Harry. Ah well, it was a very fun way to spend the afternoon. The only problem, if you can call it a problem, is that I now want to go back and re-read all the books.

Since I was such a slug all weekend, I was very firm in telling myself that I had to go exercise today, which I did. I got home in time to make fajitas for dinner, then hubby and I went shopping for J's graduation gift. We decided to get him a PDA so that he might have a hope of keeping himself organized when he starts college next year. We ended up getting him an iPaq - mostly, I think, because hubby works for HP (we have HP computers too). [ profile] shendoah was kind enough to send me a very helpful PM about various things to look for when shopping for one, and that helped a lot. Thanks, Shen!

The big day is Wednesday! I took the day off so that I can run J to his rehearsal downtown in the morning, pick up his brother, C, from school after lunch, and get to the auditorium before they close the doors at 3:00. [What genius decided that it would be a good idea to hold a high school graduation from 3-5pm?!? So they assume that all parents are able to get the day off to attend or are they just oblivious? The only good thing about it is that J will have a chance to rush to his friends' high school to catch the end of their ceremony and we will be able to get C to his 8th grade dance at 7 before driving back up to pick up J for grad night. Good grief, I'm tired just typing that!]

Now I just need to nudge him into a job...


Jun. 5th, 2004 09:49 pm
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The Face by Dean Koontz. This was a supernatural thriller. The surface story is about the imminent disaster planned by a psychopath to inflict harm upon the household of a famous actor and thereby increase the magnitude of chaos in the world. The head of security for the actor must determine what the threat is and prevent it from happening while his world is shaken by inexplicable occurrences. The writing is surprisingly evocative at times, with phrases that I would go back and read several times just for the pleasure of how they felt in my mind. There is plenty of action, but the part I liked best about this book was the exploration of the relationships of the various characters and what drives them to be the people they are. I really enjoyed this - much more than I expected!
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Post three clues about yourself. Post anonymously, of course. Let's see if I can't guess who you are.

Lets see just how far off I am...


Jun. 3rd, 2004 06:02 pm
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Rendiru's LJ stalker is !
is stalking you because your LiveJournal is just SO damned interesting. They are also leaving anonymous abuse on your journal!

LiveJournal Username:

LJ Stalker Finder

I guess my stalker is a pro - they remain nameless even to this quiz. :-)

64, 65/150

Jun. 3rd, 2004 05:33 pm
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#64: The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the latest book in the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I liked this one even better than the last one. The thing I like best about these books is not the plot, but the pacing and flow of the writing - it gives me a feeling of life slowing down to allow me to consider the small things that are so much a part of my larger happiness. A couple of favorite passages:

"She had never been able to tolerate dishonesty, which she thought threatened the very heart of relationships between people. If you could not count on other people to mean what they said, or to do what they said they would do, then life could become utterly unpredictable. The fact that we could trust one another made it possible to undertake the simple tasks of life. Everything was based on trust, even day-to-day things like crossing the road--which required trust that the drivers of cars would be paying attention--to buying the food from a roadside vendor, whom you trusted not to poison you. It was a lesson that we learned as children, when our parents threw us up into the sky and thrilled us by letting us drop into their waiting arms. We trusted those arms to be there, and they were." (p 82)

"We find what we are looking for in life, her father had once said to her; which was true--if you look for happiness, you will see it; if you look for distrust and envy and hatred--all those things--you will find those too." (p 121, 122)

I love the down-to-earth wisdom shown by the main characters of this book and this series.

#65: Darkness by LE Modesitt, Jr. This is the second book in the Corean Chronicles. Typical Modesitt - the main character just wants to go about his life, but circumstances, talent, amd a feeling of responsibility keep herding him into dangerous situations where he can only survive by learning some new facet of his talent. I like this formula, so I really enjoyed the book. There were a few strange editing choices (or lack thereof) that were occasionally distracting, but it was otherwise a smooth, enjoyable book.

62, 63/150

May. 30th, 2004 08:39 pm
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#62: The Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams. If you enjoy Adams' writing, by all means, give this a try. It includes essays, letters, and even a couple of speeches, all written or delivered with Adams' usual eloquence.

#63: Crossfire by Nancy Kress. Settlers arrive at what was classified as an uninhabited planet only to find several groups of aliens in primitive living situations. But these aliens are not native to the planet any more than are the colonists. They are an experiment placed there by another alien race in an attempt to find a way to keep them from wiping out the second group of aliens with their aggressive war tactics. The humans find themselves caught, as the title says, in the crossfire.

I didn't think that this was as thought-provoking as some of Kress' earlier work, or even as much as her recent series, but it was entertaining.
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*bold those you've read
*italicise started-but-never-finished
*add three of your own
*underline those you own but haven't gotten to yet
*post to your livejournal

Read more... )


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