bunrab: (bunearsword)
The year in review, as told by the first posts of each month:

We had a few drops of champagne at midnight - we went to the New Year's Eve Gala at Lorenzo's Timonium Dinner Theater in - you guessed it - Timonium, and saw "And Then There Were None" which ended at 11:45 and then the cast, which were also the waitpeople, served champagne to everyone and we all made noise and sang Auld Lang Syne, and then we split. Dropped Cindy off, passed a wreck on the highway that seemed to have at least one law enforcement vehicle as one of the crunch-ees. Home safe, drink some decaf tea.

Here's what it says on Central Market's brown paper bags:
"I am a brown paper bag. More than likely, I'll end up under your kitchen sink with a few of my friends. I might get cut up and wrapped around an old textbook. Or just stuck under something messy. It would be nice if someone made me into a kite. I'd like to be a kite. But whatever happens, I will never forget the day I carried groceries home from Central Market."

We are back in Baltimore. Haven't had chance to catch up on my flist yet. It went over 85 degrees while we were in Austin. And the oak and elm trees were pollenating. We have at least one more trip to make down there, sometime in the second half of April.

Siiiigh - the sellers of the house we're trying to buy are being real jerks; they didn't get the water turned back on in time for the official home inspection by an engineer, so we had to reschedule that, then the day before the rescheduled inspection, they got the water turned on - and discovered that the pipes had not been properly drained before shutoff, so there is water/ice damage to the pipes, which has to be repaired.

Besides the Manga Shakespeare, I picked up another graphic thingy from the library - Opera Adaptations, Vol. 2 by P. Craig Russell. A mixed bag - I hated the way he interpreted "Parsifal" - he made it all about the rejections instead of the quest. The Mahler songs were depressing in any event, and graphics made them no less so. I am not familiar with "Ariane and Bluebeard" so it made no sense to me. "Pagliacci" was the last thing in the book - and it was done quite well! All the sly nastiness, all the misunderstandings that each character encourages among the others, were brought out. The characters looked just right to me.

The movers show up Friday morning at 8:30, so we have actually had to start packing, and perhaps we're even getting a bit frantic at this point. So that's what I've been doing instead of LJ - along with getting the last few repairs done at the new house, and making curtains, and stuff like that.

OK gang, Monday noon we're off for the Baltimore Symphonic Band tour of Eastern Europe. We will be gone July 7-17. A sitter will be taking care of the pets and the house, all that stuff, but she will not be answering our phones. We are not taking our cell phones to Europe; they're the wrong kind. We will, however, be checking our email from internet cafes, once we get to Europe. We're taking the little OLPC XO computer. So if you are trying to get in touch with us, email should get responded to within a couple of days, whereas a phone call will not get returned until the 18th at the earliest.

After we got back from Europe, I was only home for a couple of days before I turned around and went up to New York to help my friend Sally-the-hoarder throw some stuff out.

Rehearsals have started up again for the fall this week, so less reading now than in the summer; here's the last of the summer's reading:

October (not counting Twitterings, which is all there was for the first week)
A few posts ago, I mentioned Dave Freer's A Mankind Witch, and in truth it was a bit from that, as much as Granny Ogg's writings, that inspired the post "To Serve Rat." Oddly enough, *after* that was when I ran across the book Rats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, from whence came yesterday's tweets about rats. And then, AFTER I had twittered those, I read the newspaper, and lo! an article about rats in Baltimore! The city is proposing a rat census, as the first step in reducing Baltimore's rat problem; the initial estimate of the number of rats in Baltimore City is 3 million! Which is quite a bit more than one for every fifteen people - Baltimore City is only about 700,000 people, although the metro area of much of Baltimore County is well over a million.

November (not counting Twitterings, which is all there was for the first week)
We'll be away for a few days, attending the wedding of a niece in Omaha, which you'll hardly even notice since I've posted so little the past two weeks anyway. I have been working on finishing assorted RL projects - knitted things, quilted things - and also having a cold. Whee. Anyway, when we get back from Omaha next week, I'll try and catch up.

So we went to the Winterthur on Saturday. They have really nice lunches in their cafeteria, including a fancy dessert table. I spent more time on the "Who's Your Daddy" exhibit than [info]squirrel_magnet or Cindythelibrarian did.
bunrab: (alien reading)
Book list:
The 133 books that for one reason or another I saw fit to mention in my blog this year )
Not all of those were books I liked. The ones with asterisks are the ones that I guess I'd characterize as my "favorites" for the year. Hmmm, two science fiction, one historical fantasy, one fiction classic, and two nonfiction - not bad! One thing I was pleased at was meeting the goal I had set for myself back at the beginning of the year, of reading a bit more nonfiction, and rather fewer murder mysteries; there are only 30 books on the list that are mysteries, and considerably more nonfiction than last year! 48 of them are nonfiction - an average of nearly one a week! I feel so intellectual.
bunrab: (alien reading)
I have been sick for the last few days, with something vaguely flu-like and an overlay of ragweed pollen allergy (hay fever) to add to the fun. So I haven't done much, and I am once again behind on reading my flist. Sorry! And, the pile of books on the desk has just been stacking up, without me doing much about it. So here's some bookblogging to try and catch up:

Does this Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? by Peter Walsh - his premise is that being a packrat and being overweight are psychologically related, and some of his already published books about getting rid of clutter can also be used to help you lose weight. Interesting premise, some food for thought (pardon the pun), but of course, no one's going to de-clutter OR lose weight just by reading a book.
Saturn's Children by Charles Stross - a fast-moving space opera, read my amazon.com review here.
Life Sucks by Jessica Abel , Gabe Soria, and Warren Pleece - a graphic novel about vampires, read my amazon.com review here.
Dark Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow - fantasy involving witches, not a whole heck of a lot of plot and the characters are somewhat cardboard; it's there mostly for the romance, which itself is pretty lightweight. An easy read, but not something I'd drive out of my way to find.
1001 Books for Every Mood by Hallie Ephron - an interesting annotated list, read my amazon.com review here.

Thanks for checking out those Amazon.com reviews, friends! Keep the Yes buttons clicking!
bunrab: (bathtub warning)
I was tagged by [livejournal.com profile] jocundushomo. (I'll get you back one of these days, she says evilly...)

A. List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself.
B. Tag seven people to do the same.
C. Do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag "whoever wants to do it".

1. I have great difficulty assigning the words right and left to the correct hands. I know which direction I want to go, but figuring out which word to blurt out to match that direction takes me a very noticeable couple of seconds.
2. I pick up my underwear and toss it in the hamper with my toes.
3. I honestly think inland marine insurance is an extremely funny topic.
4. I finally learned to whistle with two fingers in my mouth when I was about 48. I learned that I could actually whistle a TUNE that way two days ago - I had never tried it before.
5. I think the habit of viewing dead bodies in their coffins is disgusting. I have never gone up for a "viewing" and I don't ever plan to.
6. I once worked as a hot-pants-wearing exhibition model at a car show. Granted, it was for an experimental car designed by a college team who were friends of mine, but still.
7. I don't know if this counts as a quirk - but I really like hashi and hitori puzzles and I don't like sudoku puzzles.

Tagged: [livejournal.com profile] miz_geek, [livejournal.com profile] bcjennyo, [livejournal.com profile] pussreboots, [livejournal.com profile] fritzsmomma, [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_magnet (ha!), [livejournal.com profile] cavia, [livejournal.com profile] crustycurmudgeo (note: I forgive you (any you) in advance if you really don't want to do this.)
bunrab: (Default)
gacked from [livejournal.com profile] bcjennyo:


1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket
2. Describe your boyfriend/girlfriend/S.O.? Funny
3. Your hair? Short
4. Your mother? Dead
5. Your father? Punster
6. Your favorite item?* Book
7. Your dream last night? Überstrange
8. Your favorite drink? Tea
9. Your dream car? Nonexistent
10. The room you are in? Dining
11. Your ex? Past
12. Your fear? Wasps
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Alive
14. Who did you hang out with last night? Band
15. What you’re not? Neat
16. The last thing you did? Read
17. What are you wearing? Usual
18. Your favorite book? hundreds!
19. The last thing you ate? Pistachios
20. Your life? Odd
21. Your mood? Lazy
22. Your friends? Away
23. What are you thinking about right now? Nap
24. Your car? Nonexistent
25. What are you doing at the moment? Typing
26. Your summer? Short
27. Your relationship status? Married
28. What is on your TV? huh?
29. When is the last time you laughed? Today
30. Last time you cried? Nightmare.
31. School? Life.


*I'm assuming this means non-living, by use of the word "thing." My answer would be otherwise if this assumption were changed.
bunrab: (Default)
The torn-out pages from magazines are not overwhelming, but the pile is big enough that I might as well feed y'all the scraps, so I can recycle some paper. Let me note that Discover's format changes during 2006 have made it annoyingly difficult to determine what issue one is looking at.

From the December 2006 issue of Discover: the essential all-time reading list, the 25 greatest science books ever written, at least in their opinion:
list )

The last page of that same issue is "20 Things You Didn't Know About Rats" including the facts that rats don't have gallbladders or tonsils. Also, rats do not sweat. They regulate their temperature by constricting or expanding blood vessels in their tails.

For some reason I've saved the 2 September 2006 issue of Science News, open to an article about new treatments for tuberculosis, but I have no idea of why.

9 December 2006 issue of Science News: the tube-lipped nectar bat, a small bat from the Andes, can stick its tongue out one and a half times its body length, the most of any mammal, and exceeded only by the chameleons, who can stick theirs out the most of any vertebrate.

Most of the rest of the pile seems to be articles about heart failure for my other blog, and book reviews for me to jot down titles to look for in the library. So I won't bore you with those.

We went to a Navy Band (not Marine Band) concert tonight; they were, of course, excellent. They had a vocalist, who was also the announcer, who sang a very nice tenor and an excellent bass - quite a range. Featured a clarinet soloist on one piece. The lights on stage went out during the middle of one number, and they had to stop until the lights flickeringly came back on. All in all, if part of the point of the concert was to prove that Balto. County school district needs to allocate some money to renovating Randallstown High, they succeeded in that point admirably: besides the wonky electrical system in the auditorium, there was totally inadequate handicapped access; as we were leaving, one lady's wheel chair fell completely over when she went over the curb (no ramp; luckily, no injuries, either), which was exacerbated by the inadequate lighting in the parking lot and the broad cracks in the pavement of the parking lot. (Does it surprise anyone to hear that Randallstown High is about 90% black, and that the "whiter" schools in the county are in better shape? One would think that in a county with this high a black population that there wouldn't be quite so obvious inequalities, but there you are.)


bunrab: (Default)

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