July 30th, 2006

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The path less traveled

Today didn't turn out how I expected, but that wasn't a bad thing actually.

What I thought was going to happen:

Amanda would pick me up at Doraville MARTA station and I'd help her out by being her partner in dog obedience class she's doing with her two dogs, since today her hubby Lee wasn't going to be able to come. Then we were going to probably hang out or go to lunch afterward.

What really happened:

On the train ride up, I called Amanda and she said she would meet me, but in the meantime she was icing her back because she was in a lot of pain. (She has really bad chronic back problems, among other health issues.) When I got to the station I called and Amanda picked me up, but then said she couldn't do the class because she was in too much pain. I told her it was OK if she just wanted to ice her back, take some painkilers and go back to bed for a while. I would be OK, amuse myself :)

So we arrive at her and Lee's house, where there's a band set up in the den for an in-house recording session Lee's managing. Amanda says hi and after telling me I'm welcome to any food or drink around, showing me a guest bedroom and giving me some dog toys, ducks into the master bedroom for a nap. I have no issue with this at all, as there's a big back yard and the dogs wanted to play. I went out back and played with them, read my book for a while, then came in when the mosquitoes and flies got to me. Then I had a Corona and spent an hour or so reading in the guest bedroom while the band played. I was pretty content, as I had a comfy bed, dogs coming to visit, and the perfect opportunity just to curl up and read.

Finally around 2 Amanda got up and said she was ready to go out. Lunch? Yay! She drove up to the Perimeter Mall area thinking to go to a Japanese place, then realized they'd be closed mid-afternoon so we went to Houlihan's instead. Not someplace I would've chosen but the food was OK I guess.

More than that was going shopping afterward. We went to Borders, where Amanda curled up with some manga and I went and found -- OMG, SCORE! -- the complete DVD set of Alien Nation, one of my all-time favorite TV series. 22 episodes of Matt-Mick-Jagger-Lookalike and Sam-Spotted-Head. I also got Sinead O'Connor's latest album and two math workbooks, for grades 5 & 6. (So far I've done a few pages of Grade 5 and find it enjoyable. I feel rust falling off my brain already.)

After all this I was feeling pretty tired and Amanda was ready for a nap, too, so I just had her drop me off at Doraville again. Once I got home I wanted to take a nap but Caleb called saying he was making Chinese and wanted me to come over. Half-asleep, I went over and chopped vegies. Daniel came over once it was done and we all had an OK dinner.

Finally we all went to my place and watched the Saturday movie on Sci Fi, which this week was a decidedly atypical offering, an artsy-yet-cheapo movie called Alien Abduction. The budget must've been like $50 but hell, they used it really well. Every so often Sci-Fi will run an actually good movie (Mortuary was good, for example) instead of one of their usual cheez-fests, like, um, Mansquito or Frankenfish. Finally we were all tired and mutually agreed to part ways, although we're doing a special "French breakfast" tomorrow.

Small Amen

This evangelical pastor has taken an interesting stance:

Disowning Conservative Politics Is Costly for an Evangelical Pastor

Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called “The Cross and the Sword” in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns...

Mr. Boyd says he is no liberal. He is opposed to abortion and thinks homosexuality is not God’s ideal. The response from his congregation at Woodland Hills Church here in suburban St. Paul — packed mostly with politically and theologically conservative, middle-class evangelicals — was passionate. Some members walked out of a sermon and never returned. By the time the dust had settled, Woodland Hills, which Mr. Boyd founded in 1992, had lost about 1,000 of its 5,000 members.
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Lovely Breakfast, Marble Cake Recipe

Unless one of us has a schedule conflict, pretty much every weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, the boys and I have breakfast together. Saturday we usually go to Alon's in Morningside and have coffee, pastries, and buy loaves of bread. Sunday we often go for brunch at Fleurs de Lis Cafe downstairs. And if we do neither of those we either go somewhere else, like Javaology, or we go over Caleb's and make German-style breakfast for ourselves. Caleb and I love the German breakfast tradition and it's easy to emulate, since all three of us can bring in little bits that together make up breakfast -- sliced tomatoes, cheese, Nutella, yogurt, Wasa, crackers, strong coffee, muesli, rolls, etc.

Well, today we did something a little different; instead of German breakfast, we did French breakfast. Well, mostly French, and of course conceding that actual French people wouldn't be eating such a big breakfast, even if the food we had was mostly French. Ahem. Anyway, it was lovely, lovely. Caleb made crepes from scratch, which he filled with fresh blueberries and topped with a bit of Vermont maple syrup and a dollop of Nutella. Daniel had bought chocolate croissants from Alon's yesterday on his own, so each of us had one (though I gave mine up to them, as it is way off my diet). Caleb made wonderful espresso using Lavazza he bought in Europe at some point, and also supplied a loaf of French bread and slices of Cabot cheddar. My contribution was fresh-baked marble cake, which I made using a recipe on a box of "Kartoffelmehl" (potato flour) Caleb for some reason bought and brought back from Germany. I've never been much good making cakes and this one was a pain since the directions and measurements were all German, but my translation and preparation worked out and the cake was perfect. Tasted a lot like my mother's poundcake. It was a very pleasant breakfast!

Oh, and in case anybody wants it, and since I typed it up already when I translated it:

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Dear dear Sinéad

As a longtime fan of Sinéad O'Connor, I respect her rights and inclinations to follow her muse. However, after listening to her latest album, Throw Down Your Arms, I dearly, dearly hope she will STOP MAKING JAMAICAN REGGAE SONGS!

I'm pretty sure I have every single one of her albums, plus a couple of EPs, and when she did Faith and Courage there was some of the reggae, talking about the "rasta man" and saying "ja" a lot, but that was a beautiful album. But this last one is just nothing but reggae. And I don't like reggae, even sung by Sinéad, with her gorgeous voice. I actualy don't like her singing Irish folk either, as she does on Sean-Nós Nua, even though I love Irish folk in general. I guess I would just like her to get back to the sort of stuff she used to do. Sadly, don't know if this is ever going to happen, as she's made statements about how she's not angry anymore as she was. She's also talked about retiring. So I guess I will just listen to the old stuff and hoping one of her next albums is something I like.

And now, just because few lyricists touch me as much as Sinéad: Collapse )

EDIT: Checking her discography, there are actually two albums of hers I've missed recently: She Who Dwells in the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty (a live 2-CD set... whoah) and Collaborations (ooh, that looks good, too). So I guess I will have more to listen to. And it's not all reggae either.
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Luck in the Legos

A couple of weeks ago, on nightrunner, feartotread posted pics of one of the funniest, cleverest, most original fan projects I've even see: Luck In The Legos, a whole Nightrunner storylet told in Legos. Grumpy as I've been lately, I LOL'd and LOL'd. Only now did I find an email from the poster OK'ing me to share the link. Absolutely priceless, whether you're a Lynn Flewelling fan like me or not. And Lynn thought it was hilarious, too :)

Sample pic:

Scene from Luck In The Legos,
in which Alec kind of sort of falls on Seregil...
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Work, work and more work

Boy, oh boy, was I productive today! There's been such a huge backlog of Metro Girl work, everything from minor edits to new sites I need to deliver to client. Today I managed:

I'm sure there was more stuff, too. All I know is I just kept cracking, going through my email and hitting as much as I could. There is MORE of course...

This week I have to finish up the site for my building, make a whole bunch of edits to the Immanion Press site, and yeah, do Inception. The dental site will probably need to be launched, too.

I also baked a marble cake and read the last 100 pages of The Mask of Apollo. And cooked dinner.

I guess this expains why I don't get any writing done? Argh.