Archive for the ‘today’ Category

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First ever give-a-way winner!

June 1, 2011

It seems that Option 7 was the clear favorite with a total of 5 votes, so when I actually get around to finishing up the new and improved text, be prepared to see this over on my “about me” page:
Windy AbbyThanks to all of you who voted and managed to leave such lovely compliments, that was really sweet of you.  Anyways I went with the trusty Random Number Generator to pick the winner (and I figured I should have the screenshot to prove it) because……

CONGRATS Commenter number 6 (i.e. Dad!)! You are the lucky winner!  Let me know if you want the Amazon gift card or the 10,000 villages gift card.  Or alternately something at Nashbar?  Thanks again to all of you who entered, that was fun.  I don’t know how many of these give-a-ways I’ll do with actual prizes, but I could see doing more of the “win something random I found in my room” type of thing 🙂

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Disaster averted and an overdose of bacon*

May 4, 2011

In the ongoing saga of Abby’s computer and her enjoyment of troubleshooting, the wireless on my macbook gave out Monday night.  I reset it, checked the house modem and asked a housemate if their wireless was working, all to no avail.  Cut off from my main source of information on fixing my computer (the nerd-0verlord Google), I decided to just sign up for a Genius bar appointment on Tuesday night and see what was the problem.  Not looking forward to having to pay for a replacement wireless card on my almost 5 year old laptop, I was a bit apprehensive.  However, I received a happy surprise in that it was only a software/permissions error, so after the wonderfully helpful genius dude repaired the disk using the disk utility function off of the start-up disk, I was good to go!  So once again I am reunited with my beloved laptop and in celebration I highly recommend you celebrate your internet access by reading this Wait, Wait Don’t Blog Me Sandwich Monday report on The Bacon Bomb.

Mike: This is the vessel Kevin Bacon arrived in from his home planet.

Eva: It looks like an old football. “Pigskin” is a much more delicious term than most people realize.

Ian: It’s like someone made some bacon, felt bad about it, and tried to put the pig back together.

*In strong contention for my favorite blog title ever

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A Saturday my parents would be proud of

April 30, 2011

So this morning I woke up for breakfast with the house at 8am and instead of heading back to bed afterwards, I changed into my grubby jeans and helped Penny sweep and clean the back porch and patio.  Then I swept the front porch and took pictures of Lina (the cat) getting a taste of the backyard (in the case of certain grasses, I mean this rather literally).  After lunch, I did indulge in a nap (and not my Dad’s 30 minute nap either, mine was closer to 1.5 hours), but eventually roused myself and dug my bike out of cold storage, filled its tires and rode it down to the Recyclery Collective.  There a friendly bike volunteer helped me replace my shifting cable and part of the housing, oil my chain and generally give my poor 13 year old bike a rub down.  Our efforts weren’t in vain because now my bike works smoothly and doesn’t slip as I bike.  Now time for a shower and then off to take photos at a 50th wedding anniversary.

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5 things I like

January 4, 2011
  • Despite having to wake up in the dark, by the time I leave for work, the sun is up with lingering sunrise behind it.
  • My family’s professional grade self-portrait
  • Skype
  • Oddly enough, routine.  I think I like to envision myself more as a free spirit who enjoys following random whims, but in the end, returning to a routine (arrival, desk time, break time, circ time, lunch time, class time, shhing time, come home from work time, cooking time, supper time, friend time, bed time) feels like a good thing.  Now if only I could find a way to work from 9 to 4 instead of 8 to 4, I think my world would be rather perfect.
  • My new journal.  But by new journal ,I mean one that Jess was going to throw away and I rescued.  I have never gotten into regular journalling.  Much of my life ends up recorded here and the bigger things end up either staying inside my head or getting hashed out with friends.  However I read this post and got inspired to start a new journal on my own terms.  So far it contains a lot of to-do lists, some notes from a business call and a quote from Tolkien, but I think my new shiny pen is also helping 🙂
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day 28 – home again home again

November 28, 2010

Well technically I am no longer on vacation, but seeing as it is after 10pm and I almost forgot to post today, this will have to do.  But I have to say my thanksgiving break was wonderful! Lots of family, friends, food and relaxation.  How about you? How was your Thanksgiving/weekend?

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day 20 – another placeholder post

November 20, 2010

I know, I know the purpose of blogging everyday for a month is not to fill your blog with meaningless little one-liners (that aren’t even funny), but between baking a giant cake (96 Tbs of butter = feeding cake to a whole church) and heading off to see Harry Potter 7: Part 1, I have only now had a chance to get to this here blogging thing.  But to make up for yesterday and today I promise a giant catch-up post tomorrow in which there will be a review of teaching (spoiler alert – it went really well!), lots of cake-baking pictures, possible review of Harry Potter movie and who knows maybe some other rambling.  But anyways I have to say I don’t feel too guilty about not posting anything more significant, because at least right now it means I am having too much fun experiencing life to have much time to record it.

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day 19 – placeholder post

November 19, 2010

Although I am not cutting it as close as I have in the past, getting home from a long but satisfying day means that all you get is a one sentence post.

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day 13 – what I did today

November 13, 2010

This morning my housemates and I enjoyed a rare treat, baked french toast.  David is quite the expert at these and makes the dish whenever Penny (his wife) insists he clean out the freezer of old bread.  After breakfast I headed off to a church leadership meeting, which I always tend to dread, but then tend to find way better than I expect.  We made plans to present our budget plan for next year to the congregation during a meeting on Sunday night.  After the meeting I stopped by Jess’ and we caught up, she fed me pizza and then I helped her ice a cake for a baby shower.  Making icing is quite fun, especially if you add the milk tablespoon by tablespoon and get to watch all the stages of icing coagulation.

After that I headed back to my house where I got momentarily (or probably closer to 45 minutes) distracted by our house’s latest puzzle (welcome to winter the season of knitting (maybe?) and puzzles!) and then decided that my room was a fright and needed picking up.  Here is proof:

As I have said before, the clutter-level of my room is a pretty good indication of my business.  So I would say, I have a lot going on right now based on this photo.  So I did a lot of putting away clothes, picking up general stuff and trying to clear the all important pathway from the door to the bed.  Unfortunately that pile of papers that could be called a desk is still in the same state of disarray.  But look at my pretty closet!

I hadn’t yet actually fully transitioned my clothes from summer to winter, so this was long overdue.  But the color organization I actually did a couple of months ago and while it doesn’t always stay this coordinated, I like how it helps me figure out what the heck I am going to wear.

After picking up my room, I made pizza fondue (tomato sauce with fennel seeds and lots of cheese that you dip veggies and bread in) for my housemates for supper.  It was super yummy, although led to an odd trifecta of meals of for the day (french toast, pizza, pizza fondue).  Then I traipsed down the alley to Becca and Jess’s to catch up on two week’s worth of Big Bang Theory and then back home with intentions of homework, but in reality, more puzzle and writing this blog.

Good night you all.

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day 4 – things I believed as a child

November 4, 2010
  • Police will never pull you over for speeding if you are only going 5mph over the limit.
  • You are perfectly safe riding without a seat belt as long as you are a) in the back seat and b)on a divided lane highway (less stopping and starting or alternately, a crash at that speed will kill you either way?).
  • If all parties involved are really nice people, no one will get hurt.
  • As an adult, going out on Friday and Saturday nights will seem exiting and appealing and you will no longer just want to sit around read a book.
  • Tights are annoying and pointless invention mainly because they are essentially knitted tubes of holes.
  • Coffee is gross despite it’s great smell, in fact drinking it closely resembles the idea of drinking vanilla extract
  • By the time I am 25, I will definitely have life completely figured out.
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6 favorite books read so far this year

September 23, 2010

While I haven’t talked a lot about the many books I have been reading this year, I have been keeping track of them on my Goodreads account, which if you are interested can be viewed by clicking on that little ole link on the right sidebar.  But if you don’t really want to click through and look at all the (many, many) books I have read this year (the combo of Literature for Children and pre-observation hours in middle schools means I have read a lot of children’s/young adult books), here are my top 6 (so far!) of the year (in no particular order):

Trouble by Gary Schmidt

This book ended up being much richer than I had originally imagined. Instead of just being a story about a boy dealing with grief and revenge, in ended up being about prejudice, cross-cultural encounters, forgiveness, tragedy and the restorative power of nature. While that sounds very heavy handed, Schmidt touches on all these themes in a very approachable middle school level and to top it off, creates one of the most memorable dog characters I have encountered in a long time. I would highly recommend this for both youth and adults, especially younger boys who may crave more identifiable male characters.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

If you haven’t read anything by Connie Willis before, you really need to get on this.  The first book I read by her was To Say Nothing of the Dog, which is a much more light-hearted romp than Doomsday Book.  However both are written in Willis’ trademark witty style and are set in a future where time travel has been discovered.  Unfortunately due to the constraints that make changes to history and the transfer of objects impossible, time travel has been left to “historians” who use the process to gain first hand knowledge of historical era.  In Doomsday Book, a rushed process ends up sending a young woman, not back to the aimed for early 1300s, but to the year that the Black Plague arrived in Oxford, England.  Her journey into this terrifying year when people with no knowledge of modern medicine encountered one of the deadliest diseases ever to strike Europe is both fast-paced and a fascinating look into the way people deal with apocalyptic events.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

While Graceling, with its strong female character facing incredible challenges, might seem similar to Hunger Games, the unique world created by Cashore and fascinating plot completely draw you in.  Set in a kingdom where some people are born with special gifts called “Graces”, Graceling follows the story of Katsa.  While some Graces are simple abilities such as cooking, singing, swimming, etc, Katsa has the ability to fight, defend and even kill with ease.  People with Graces are immediately sworn in allegiance to their king, so Katsa grows up as a trained assassin, but it is only have a complex plot to overthrow the separate kingdoms and unite them under one ruler that Katsa decides to take control of her own life and overcome the bloody nature of her Grace.  I found this to be a totally engrossing book both due to the fast-paced plot, but the wonderful characters that surround Katsa on her journey.
This is a great book for young fantasy readers (Upper Middle School and into High School), but I think adults would also enjoy it.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

I have read several of Chabon’s books before this, but this was is by far my favorite.  Set in New York City (and several other locations) this is the epic story of Joe Kavalier, Jewish escapee of Holocaust Hungary, Sam Clay, his cousin and business partner, and the brash, sprawling world of early comic book publishing.  I love it when stories spread themselves out over the years to tell stories of multiple generations and this book does just that, following the characters through ups and downs and into their futures.  Interspersed throughout the story are tales of the character the Escapist (created by Joe and Sam) and Joe’s experiences fighting in World War II, histories of various family members, etc.  While I felt engaged by reading this book, Chabon’s language and writing can get dense at times, but in the end I think it is highly worth it.

Bored-Nothing to Do! by Peter Spiers

What follows is a picture book evaluation I wrote for class, so enjoy my attempt at profesionalism!

This book follows two boys kicked out of their house with the admonition “Go do something”.  Inspired by an old propeller in the garage, they collect items from all over the house and start building an airplane.  After test-flying their creation, they are discovered by their parents, admonished and sent to their room–starting the cycle all over again.
Created by color wash over pen drawings, the illustrations range from small segmented squares to full two page spreads.  The level of detail in each painting carries the story, conveying characterization, setting, and action.  While younger children may find the illustrations too complicated, older children will enjoy re-reading the story to absorb every detail.  The sparse text also contains a strong emphasis on dialogue which helps create strong characters and smooth plot lines. Making good use of parallel structure, the text uses a repeated theme of listing the many items used in the boys’ creation.
Written in 1978, Bored – Nothing To Do! may come across as old fashioned parenting – oblivious parents, punishment by spanking delivered by the father, etc.  However, its portrayal of the moments of utter boredom found in any childhood, is timeless.  Due to the age of the book, I was unable to find any publisher reviews, however Peter Spier is a winner of the both the Caldecott Medal and Horn Book Award.  This book was a favorite of mine and one that I would continue to recommend to children today.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson

Violent, fast-paced, foreign and smart, this is everything you have ever wanted in an airplane book.  Plus the character of Lisbeth Salander, hacker, barely sociable, utterly tough woman, is one of my favorites from the year.  Even when you just want to shake her, you know you probably wouldn’t get away with it.