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Hello, internet! So, I have an interesting assignment at work and limited time in which to accomplish it...which makes me inclined to try to crowdsource the heck out of this thing, appealing to all of my well-read internet friends as well as all of my (mostly offline) English teacher friends and librarian colleagues.

By Wednesday 3/18 I need to come up with a preliminary list of books to consider using with a new reading group that I'm going to be involved in starting up at a nearby women's prison. My collaborator and I have a meeting scheduled at the end of the week and I need some book suggestions to leave with her to begin exploring while I leave on vacation for the rest of March. She wants to start this thing up in May, so we'll have less than a month to prepare after I return from vacation in early April, so, BAM! Book list, ASAP!

Any suggestions, my friends? cut for lengthy description of what we are looking forCollapse )

I left my list-in-progress at work, but some titles I remember adding today include:

Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline

The Round House, by Louise Erdrich

Caucasia, by Danzy Senna

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed


tl:dr - Reading group suggestions, please? What have you read lately that you think would make for good discussion in a group?

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Mornings...what a simultaneously horrifying and glorious invention!

I am not what one would consider "a morning person." I am, in fact, pretty much the polar opposite thing to "a morning person." Slow to get going. A night owl. (As an aside: OMG! Did you know that apparently "night owl" is synonymous with debauchery according to the thesaurus?! WTF? Just because a person likes to stay up late does not mean that they are up *partying*! But whatever, that's all much more interesting than my breed of night owl, I suppose.) Whatever you call it, whatever you do with it, I've been p.m-oriented my entire life. I can do mornings, generally with many alarms and a great deal of grumbling, but I almost never *choose* mornings.

So I'm always amazed and rather appalled at how much one can accomplish if one deliberately awakens on the early side on a free day. I needed to have some fasting bloodwork done after a medical check up last week, so it had to be done first thing in the morning. Saturday didn't happen and yesterday was no good (plus, Monday mornings are crazy busy at the lab anyway), so I determined to get up between 8:00 and 8:30 this morning, get to the lab to have my blood drawn, and then get my favorite fast food breakfast (an indulgence on a non-workday). And then I was UP.

I came home, sorted out the first couple of boxes of specialty baking ingredients that appear to have arrived yesterday and tracked the remaining packages that are still en route. Then I did some dishes to prepare for baking. Then I made a double batch of these peanut butter cookies, because I actually had all of the ingredients on hand already (pretty much all of the rest of the recipes I want to try call for almond flour, and that is in one of the packages that is supposed to arrive later today or tomorrow.

These peanut butter cookies are not bad. I'd read about the "cooling sensation in the mouth" from the erythritol sweetener, but it's a rather odd experiencing it via peanut butter cookie. Quite distracting, actually. I guess we'll see if I can get used to it. It is a rather spare recipe--just four ingredients. Perhaps the sensation (it's not really a taste, as such) will be less distracting in smaller proportion in a recipe with more flavors going on in it, like chocolate chip walnut cookies. We'll see tomorrow once the almond flour arrives.

And Sunday I called my mother like a dutiful daughter, and yesterday I worked on a friend's book publishing project that I've had in progress for a while. Made excellent additional progress: I submitted the first book for CreateSpace staff review, and then made my friend a Google Spaces website and a business card design. Woo hoo! Look at me! Being all productive and shit!

ETA: And I've pulled the original Into the Woods cast recording off my shelf and am listening to it while I do kitchen things, to whet my appetite for the filmed version (which looks like it's going to be AMAZING), to which I plan on making a Christmas Day matinee excursion! :D

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Hi, social blogosphere peeps! I was just posting some VividCon business on the con's communities on DW and LJ, and I'm feeling chatty about Life Stuff, so I thought I would ramble on for a bit tonight. Let's see...I definitely have things to share about my life because, as I told [personal profile] fan_eunice the other evening, I feel like I'm on a roll lately. For example:

  • I learned today at work that I got the promotion I went up for earlier this month. No big whoop, just a little bit more money (TBA, fingers crossed that it will be enough to notice it on my paycheck) for doing the same job. So it's mostly symbolic, really, but, hey! Achievement Unlocked!

  • Speaking of [personal profile] fan_eunice, one week ago tonight she drove over and we attended a talk by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He was just as awesome as we expected him to be. :D It was also great to spend an evening with my Eunice! We enjoyed good Japanese food beforehand at a restaurant across the street from the theater, even though the service was pretty terrible, oops.

  • It's payday today and I'm broke already because I tripped over a chocolate chip cookie recipe on the internet and it made me decide to spend part of my upcoming Christmas vacation (starts Saturday, runs for 16 days. Wow!) on a low-carb, gluten-free cookie baking spree! Somehow this necessitated me spending close to a third of my paycheck on specialty baking supplies and a few new items of bakeware and other kitchen odds and ends. But mostly specialty baking supplies, such as gluten-free flours and non-sugar sweeteners. It's a strange new world out there...and hopefully in 5-8 days, depending on shipping variables, a strange new world in my kitchen, as well!

  • Currently reading...fiction: The Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch (Starts with The Lies of Locke Lamora; the second book is Red Seas Under Red Skies; and the third is The Republic of Thieves. 4 more novels and other stories forthcoming). Highly recommended.

  • Currently reading...non-fiction: The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi. Also recommended.

  • Latest throw-together-dinner-from-stuff-on-hand discovery: Scrambled egg whites with spinach, breakfast sausage, and shredded cheese. Mmmmm...

  • I have recently discovered the Trivia Crack game on Facebook (and the Android app, which does not require a Facebook account). I generally have 5 or 6 games going at a time at each place. Crack, what crack?

So, an unspecified number of things in a list makes a post, right? Right! Gotta go, Trivia Crack is calling me now...hope all is well with you people!

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So, since I last posted three weeks ago, I have cleaned my kitchen, living room, and bathroom. I have assembled: Read more...Collapse )

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Things I have done today instead of cleaning...
3 things...Collapse )In other news...the cleaning thing is because my landlord is being a pill. Last week I did manage to clear out a lot of junk from the living room, disassemble and discard the pieces of the sad bookcase that never went together right, and assemble the DVD shelving unit that I bought in 2011 and move it into place between the windows in the living room. It has a few stray nails that poked out where they should not have and I forgot to exactly center it before I loaded all the DVDs onto the shelves, but, enh! Close enough! I can visualize what I'm going to do with the rest of the living room this week before the landlord's follow-up visit at the end of the month.

cut and warning for discussion of cancer, which I do not haveCollapse )

And now I think I shall retire to bed to read fic on my smartphone (my stupid laptop died the day I got home from VividCon, so it is out for repairs).

And that's what's new with me!

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Very little to report on my own behalf lately...oh! Except to recommend to you this week's episode of PBS's American Experience: "Freedom Summer" (available to stream online — from either of those pages click the "Watch Online" link to open the web player).

In other news, my friend [personal profile] heresluck has been out playing in her garden this week. Last weekend when we were on the phone she said to me: "Before I go dig in the dirt, I have to go down to Jerry's U-Save and fill up my propane tank so I can use my new flame thrower on the weeds."

And I just about peed myself laughing. Don't get me wrong — it's a perfectly reasonable sentence...IF you are here's luck. Which I most emphatically am not. So it struck me as just about the most perfect totally-here's-luck/totally-not-me sentence possibly in all of spacetime. I made her repeat it half a dozen times just so I could more fully enjoy the preposterous h.l-ness of it.

I believe we once described ourselves as "We really are a lot alike, except for the ways in which we are completely different"...so chalk gardening and yard work up as the latter.

::still laughing::

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Hello, friends. I am a few posts behind on my December posting meme because I seem to have slipped into some sort of deep vacation brain space. Six days off (ending today) and I've only managed to watch movies and television shows* and to begin excavating the pile of junk in the corner (er, northwest quadrant, really) of my bedroom**. I haven't even been reading fic or long DW/LJ posts. Concentrating on text seems too difficult. I'll get around to answering those questions at some point, I'm sure, even if the whole thing spills over into January.

*On the plus side, watching two seasons of Ripper Street was very enjoyable, as was viewing a couple of movies I had not seen in decades: Spinal Tap and Clue.

**Cleaning up historic piles of crap can be kind of like going shopping! I found a large, reusable plastic water bottle and two shoulder bag/satchel things that I'd forgotten I owned. Also, 30 cents and a magnetic chip clip. I hope to find additional useful items as the excavation progresses during part two of my vacation, which will run from Sunday through Wednesday.

I am considering getting dressed and going out to join a friend and her friends for trivia night at a local restaurant/bar this evening, if only because I'm tired of eating the food in my freezer.

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Plenty of days open still on my calendar, so please feel free to tell me what to talk about over here. Thanks!

[personal profile] norah asked me to talk about some of the odder queries or experiences I have had as a librarian. Ahahahahahaha...yes, I have some stories that qualify for this post. The two oddest reference questions I have had to handle are 1) What was Jesus' blood type? and 2) How do you spell "Latino" in Greek numerals? Both questions came to me while I was staffing the telephone reference service at the large public library where I work. This desk is designed to handle short, factual questions in a 3- to 5-minute timespan. Yeah. Let me tell you about where each of these conversations went...

1) What was Jesus" blood type?Collapse )

2) How do you spell WHAT, NOW?Collapse )

And how about a bonusCollapse )

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Plenty of days open still on my calendar, so please feel free to tell me what to talk about over here. Thanks!

[personal profile] sdwolfpup asked for my thoughts on the Legend of Korra season 2 finale.

my thoughts, with surprise spoilers for Thor: The Dark World, so watch out!Collapse )

In conclusion, ten thumbs up for Legend of Korra season 2 finale!

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This is my first post in the abbreviated December posting meme that I'm trying. Plenty of days open still on my calendar, so please feel free to tell me what to talk about over here. Thanks!

For today, [personal profile] heresluck asked for my favorite thing(s) about Sleepy Hollow.

Pretty much everythingCollapse )

tl;dr - What do I like about Sleepy Hollow? HESSIANS!

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