February 22nd, 2004

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Got a nice toiletries pack from Storm today -- part of our ongoing USA-UK toiletries exchange project:

One unfortunate but sort of funny thing was there was a bit of a problem with some of it having exploded during transit, but I got MOST of it OK!

I knew something was funny when the concierge in my building handed it to me and the whole package was wrapped in food service film, as if somebody had rescued it and wanted it to stay together and be "waterproof." When I took it in my hands, about half the box was all "mushy" from something liquid having broken and it all smelled like coconut. Anyway, I opened it up -- very easy since once the film was removed, half the box was completely soft, like butter -- and it turns out that on this one bottle of Boots coconut shower gel, the top had snapped off and then the top of the bottle too and it oozed all those plastic bags Storm had put in for padding and also to help prevent explosions. It was very squishy, fishing out all the bottles from their bag with goo all over them. All the other bottles were fine, however, once I washed off the soap. The only other damage was a package of turquoise bath pearls, which kind of exploded in their bag so that a bunch of them mixed with the shower gel and made this turquoise goo. But actually most of the pearls were there and I put them in a new bag. I will take a "blue bath" tomorrow to enjoy them, I like the way they feel, like tiny pearls.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
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Anybody reading this read A.C. Crispin's StarBridge series? I'm just about done reading Silent Songs, after reading Silent Dances a few months ago. They are both very enjoyable, well-done SF books co-authored by Crispin and this woman Kathleen O'Malley.

The style is really simple but gosh, they are very, very quick reads and you cannot put them down (um, though I just did put it down to type this, I admit). I also love the interaction between all the species; to me it seems much more realistic than anything on Star Trek and is at a deeper level altogether. It's true, there is some obviousness in the way some of the themes and political statements are worked in (deaf Native American human makes contact with signing bird-creatures who live like traditional Native Americans), but I dig it anyway because it's done so cleanly.

Anyway, I think I may just have to find the other 5 books in this series. Great books to have when you just want to get something read that can be gulped down quickly and easily and be good without totally taxing your brain cells (like, say, Ricardo Pinto's books or even the Ursula LeGuin I've been reading, which is pretty subtle). I mean, I opened the book Friday and without even "really reading" it, just opening it a few times during the day, I was one page 80 or 100 or something. Addictive! Now I have about 30 pages left and I think I will probably end up reading it before bed.
  • Current Mood
    excited excited
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(no subject)

The "@ Issue" section of the Atlanta paper ran a pro/con piece on gay marriage today and I thought the pro one was worth pasting in here. (Although I will say the "con" piece was interesting in that the writer, even though he spends the whole piece talking about marriage through history, was *against* constitutional amendments because it's "premature."

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  • Current Mood
    blah blah

A middle school memory

I got to go on a lot of cool school field trips growing up. The frequency of trips was a combination of our town being well off, teachers making a big effort to teach things in a "hands on" way, and our area (northeastern Massachusetts) having a heck of lot of field-trip-worthy things to visit. We had all kinds of historic sites (town historical society, the Lowell mills, Concord & Lexington, cemetaries), nature areas (rivers, the ocean, town conservation areas) and then of course all kinds of museums (esp. in Boston).

Anyway, today I had a random memory of a particularly nice period during middle school when we not only went on a lot of cool field trips to Boston, but my teachers seem to plan these trips so we students would not just go for education, but also to have a good time in the city.

It worked this way: First thing in the morning we'd all get on schoolbuses and be dropped off at our destination, like the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, or the New England Aquarium. We'd be in there from around 9 to 12, usually visiting one particular exhibit as well as doing some general exploring. Then at noon, at lunchtime, rather than eat at the museums or going to a park or going home, we'd all get back in the buses and go to Fanueil Hall! And what was really amazing was, the teachers wouldn't chaperone us, they basically told us: "We'll be here until 1:15, you have just over an hour to find yourself lunch, go shopping, or do whatever you want."

Um, did I mention we were all like 13-14 years old? This was so awesome!

First everybody would go into Fanueil Hall itself, which is basically one big long food court. There we could get all kinds of cool food; I used to get these huge reubens and yummy ice cream and clam chowder. A lot of the places were urban chains that didn't have stores in our hometown at the time and it was this great exotic thing -- plus the very idea of having money and buying one's own food was very exciting. (Even the poor kids seemed to always have money, even if just change, to pay for this.)

After the food was the shopping in the rest of the whole market area. Shops I remember liking were a couple of bookstores and a gift shop that always had amazing greeting cards. I also loved Banana Republic; I thought the clothes were so cool looking and remember falling in love with a cape that was just like Sherlock Holmes and then being very distraught when I found out it was $80. I also enjoyed all the little carts selling small things and would buy little gifts and toys for Christmas or birthday presents. Oh, and I would roam around Crate & Barrel, which wasn't as huge then as now, and I would drool over all the kitchenware -- yeah, every teenager does that, right? I would covet glasses and bowls and vases.

I also remember just roaming around outside, especially with my friend Dee. There were almost always street performers out doing juggling or magic or playing South American mountain music. Of course we ran into other city-like things, like public perverts: One time Dee and I were out sitting on the benches near the Red Auerbach statue when this guy with a foot fetish came up to us and started going on about Dee's feet and how he wanted to touch them. We left.

Nowadays it all seems so "small" to me, even though it's still nice.
  • Current Music
    "Blackbird," version by Bobby McFerrin

Slamming head on keyboard

I know I've been a bad girl when my parents call ME to ask if I'm OK. Specifically if my DAD calls. Shit. Well, they are OK, I'm OK, but I feel bad. I used to call every weekend, now I call like once a month. I just... Ugh! It just doesn't pop into my head like it used to. Pooh. Now I will have to set a reminder to pop up every weekend. And I promised myself when I had that nice long holiday at home that after being all caught up with them, I'd stay in touch, after all long distance is free on my mobile... And I blew it.

P.S. Meanwhile I have done about 30 minutes work since noon when in fact I have like maybe 6 hours hours work I need to do. I just don't want to do it. And I got to chatting. And Dad called. And my piggies are cute. And it's Sunday! What is WRONG with me? If I don't finish today, I'll get a call at like 8 a.m. tomorrow from Mat Man!
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated

Stinky afternoon

Had one of those days where I was going to sit down and be SO productive, just knock out swatches all afternoon (promised Mat Man I'd be done by the weekend) but I haven't really been able to, or in the mood to, so I think I will have finished about one of NINE products I need to do. Damn. I don't like this project at all because it takes up too much time, involves a lot of very tedious work, and the client is anal retentive and relentless. And I know he'll call me tomorrow at some point I'm not quite awake yet and will ask me for an update. Guess I'll be stuck doing this tomorrow too, even though CAP needs my help too. Stupid swatches.

Meanwhile, I did some further investigating and am now pretty sure Chipmunk is a boy. So I definitely can't keep :(
  • Current Mood
    depressed depressed
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Caleb, playing with Abbie tonight, discovered she has a big cyst or something on her throat. It's kind of on her "chin" -- that is, if guinea pigs had chins, or necks. It's right about where her larynx is, I imagine, and seems about the size of a grape.

I just emailed April asking her about it. Chances are a cyst is going to be fine and not even something needing treatment, but I may end up taking her to the vet.

Abbie is going to get to ride MARTA! I have already figured out how to get to the vet on the train and then bus, and I still have the transport cage April left here when she delivered the creatures, so I should be OK. Abbie will be such a stress case though. (And no, cab ride is kind of a bad option since the vet is FAR away, actually in another county. Too bad there is only one "exotic animal" vet in the whole damn city.) At least I don't have to work an appt. around my schedule, since I make my schedule.

Abbie doesn't seem bothered by the thing even when we pressed on it and stuff to tell the size. I think it's probably just some cyst.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious