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Random Updates and Quotes [Jul. 11th, 2014|05:39 pm]
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The Umlauf Sculpture Garden is smaller than I remembered. Also, I remember it as having several statues of couples intertwined which made me wish I could sculpt because I'd want to make a whole series showing different ways to deal with the extra-arm problem when you're cuddling in bed. But no, there is only one, and the couple is vertical.

**

I bought a small set of the modern, thinner index cards out of curiosity. My verdict: Whew, they're not scary, still plenty thick. Robin's verdict: these are horrible; they are practically just paper.

**

The president of the university where I work gets to stay on until the end of May. This was decided the day before the meeting where he was told he was going to be fired if he didn't submit his resignation (to be effective in October) immediately. He thanked the jerks who were firing him for working with him on this detail. (Of course he didn't call them jerks.)

When he's done being president, he will go back to teaching in the law school like he was before.

**

I found out about a book called The People's History of the United States told with the opposite bias of the usual history books: it's from the viewpoint of the less powerful. Their speeches are just as awesome as the ones we've heard. But it's pretty depressing.

Mostly. Sometimes soldiers refuse to fight certain battles. Neighbors come to people's aid. A few times juries refused to convict people who had clearly committed crimes just because they thought the actions shouldn't have been crimes.

I never would have thought of that last one. Of saying something like, "The judge told use that we have to bring a verdict of guilty if we think the defendant is guilty. But actually we don't. We can do whatever we want." So far as I know, no one asks you why you came up with the verdict you did, they just ask you for the verdict and make guesses based on what they saw during the trial.

**

Duolingo is a free app to learn languages and Spanish is available. I think it's pretty terrible as a teaching tool. For example, sometimes they will ask you to translate something for which they have not yet given you the vocabulary. And they explain virtually nothing.

However, I do like it for review. And I think it's helping me getting better at understanding Spanish that is being spoken slowly and clearly using only words I know. It's sort of like math sometimes where I hear a sentence and think, "This sentence is going on forever, I'm not going to be able to figure it out." Then I make myself write down something before I listen again, and usually it's close. Then you can double-check yourself by listening to a version with the words separated from each other before you officially submit your sentence.

I also learned that on the iPod, you can get accents and tildes just by holding down on the character button over which you want this symbol and a bunch of options pop up from which you can select the one you want.

I'm still trying to figure out a semi-easy way to do that on my laptop.

**

Robin's reading loads of Louis L'amour books (western novels) and I'm reading all the best ones. Fun times. The author actually makes all the main characters seem different even though they are all good with guns and horses and are honorable in at least some respects.

**

I went to a party where the host and hostess disagreed about what the best kind of peanut-butter-filled chocolate cupcake would be and so there was a contest. So they each made cupcakes and people voted. As you might guess, they are both winners. AND I got to bring a bunch home, so I've been eating one every single day for a week. Mmmm.

Also, Robin made a giant batch of mashed potatoes. They are full of cheese and buttermilk (actually, yogurt for this batch) and garlic, so they are yummy.

**

Okay, the cupcakes weren't the most exciting part of the party--it was a Star Wars party. Fun costumes. Fun people. "Star Wars" movies playing upstairs.

I wanted to show up in a "Star Trek" uniform--hilariously clueless. But I don't have one. Or perhaps some kind of "Dr. Who" thing. I settled for a graphic t-shirt called "Cookie, Cookie Night" which looks like "Starry, Starry Night" except that the stars have chocolate chips and you can see the Cookie Monster at the bottom of the shirt. It's my only space-themed shirt.

I stole a fabulous idea I found on the internet to make tie fighters out of two hexagonal cheese crackers glued to a cube of cheddar with cream cheese. They did not survive the car trip very well, but were mostly easy to re-assemble and they tasted good.

I also stole another idea from the internet and was glad to see that the hostess had a cup of plasticware playing into my plans. So I used a post-it note to explain, "Use the forks, Luke."

And there were some dark chocolate things that I was able to label as "the dark side."

The bad part is that the biggest Trekkie friend of theirs I know was out of town. That was so terrible. All because it was his dad's birthday. As if dads are more important than Star Trek parties. Oh, I guess they are! Or most of them, anyway, including his.

Quote of the Day - "I am smarter than the stapler." - my sister.

Is it wrong that I want to make a beautiful cross-stitch of this mantra and hang it up in my house?

Other Quote of the Day - "Remember, you only have to be 10% smarter than the box to open the box." - my sister's friend

So, if you've been looking for just the right affirmations, I hope you have found them today!
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Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2014-07-11 11:38 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Boo, I hate missing costume parties! From your description of the set-up, this sounds like one I would have been invited to! Stupid job in stupid California. Your treats and labels sound awesome! Miss you all. --Texpenguin
[User Picture]From: livingdeb
2014-07-12 01:56 am (UTC)

(Link)

Aw! Yes, you would have. But there was very little notice, so you may not have had time to get a good costume. Basically Di was all--so I'll really still be home in a week and a half? Party time!

It's a great job in great California, which is stupidly far away.
[User Picture]From: llcoolvad
2014-07-14 04:27 am (UTC)

L'Amour fou

(Link)

I binge-read a bunch of Louis L'Amour books when I was in high school. I used to get all the cast-offs from various friends of my mother's, and one day I got two giant shopping bags filled with paperbacks (they would just show up at the house). One bag was filled with Barbara Cartland romance novels, and the other had Louis L'Amour westerns. Being the compulsive completist type, I read both bags—there had to be 40-50 of each type. I'm pretty sure I read one bag then moved to the other, but it's possible I alternated.

Anyway, I remember the overall flavor of the L'Amour, but not one detail. I remember the Cartlands a bit more, because reading her was more like reading the same book 50 times. Lots of reinforcement. Maybe I'll pick up another L'Amour for old times' sake.

Trying to remember what happened to them. I might have passed them on to someone else, since they both were outside of my preferred reading. I also seem to recall that our attic squirrels nested inside a box of books...might have been one of them.
[User Picture]From: livingdeb
2014-07-15 03:52 am (UTC)

Re: L'Amour fou

(Link)

Heh. Squirrels nesting in the (words about the) wild west.

Well, if the books are gone, they're probably super easy to find at the library. Robin's going to be putting together his top-ten list, which I'm planning to link to, but I know three of them are Flint, Reilly's Luck, and Silver Canyon. He often has one or five fun scenes with especially good writing.

I've managed to never have heard of Barbara Cartland. And you're not really talking me into looking her up!