AERA Recap

Mar. 31st, 2008 06:05 pm
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Sunday - Street vendor soft pretzel, Thai curry (solo), authentic Chinese (mu shu is the food of the gods)

Monday - New York Deli, American Indian Corn Soup, cornbread

Tuesday - Indonesian, Indian Take-out
 
Wednesday - Italian Trattoria

Thursday - Cuban lunch and Turkish dinner

Friday - Ethiopian, Thai

Saturday -Amy's Bread
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We saw the last three bouquet's of the day at the Macy's Flower Show.

We visited the MoMA design store, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the United Nations, the American Indian Community House, the Columbia University Campus ("I went to Columbia"), and, oh yeah, the conference.
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I am home now and have the world's most cruel head cold. More later, when I can breathe again.
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I am in New York City. It should be an interesting week.
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Don't. Want. To. Go. Home.
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Tomorrow I will be meeting SeaWorld's dolphin performers. It is poolside, so I wont be swimming with them, but I have us booked for the backstage "Dolphin Spotlight" tour at 10 am. This makes me happy.  Their website is horrible, so I am not even going to try to send you there, but TDaC agreed to go, after I found it listed on a local events page, and I am so excited!
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My favorite musher for the last twenty years is currently leading the Iditarod.

She is an old friend of my dad, a breast cancer survivor, and a persistent musher who has come in second twice, but never won. Watching her win the gold nuggets for first-musher-into-Cripple is a delight, and I hope she keeps on mushing those doggies to Nome ahead of the boys...
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Go me. Since my last entry I have pretty much been nibbling around the edges of the impossible project. In doing so I have knocked four of my seven goals for the weekend off the list. I have a page of 18 sources - books and journal articles not available electronically - that need to be fetched from the library. Once that is done the only items left will be "plan to write paper" and "start messing with outline." I literally mapped out my schedule for the week, including several blocks dedicated to the prelim, which may count as "plan to write paper."

I need to be at Greg's in an hour and a half for dinner, and my current intention is to take 20 minutes to start my mom's birthday bracelet then go hang out with the cat until dinnertime. I'll take some reading, and give him some love, then after dinner I can fill out the matrix for the article I am presenting in the morning. I was thinking about going to the library, but that is going to take hours, so I think I will do it tomorrow afternoon. I am so good at this article gathering... its just the reading I procrastinate on...
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Things I never say to the dog, but find myself saying to the cat:

Get OFF the laptop.

Hey now, no claws on bare skin.

Get your head OUT of my water glass.

Ack, the tongue. Save me from the tongue!
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I had a riding lesson tonight, sharing the ring and the trainer with a more advanced student. Mr. Sensitive and I were trotting over poles, while Cowboy and his rider cantered over two low jumps.  It was fun to watch and I told Reanna, "I know I have to work up to it, but I! Want! To! Do! That! (Eventually)." This was a total surprise to me - I had never even thought about jumping before.

I was figuring another half dozen lessons or so, before I even got to think about taking the horse over anything. Instead she looked at us appraisingly and said, "Well, you aren't ready to do it at a canter, but you can try it at a trot."

So we did. He refused the jump the first two times, but then we got it. We went over both of them in series, several times, and I came home floating. If I can do that, I know I can survive my meeting tomorrow.
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It would be refrigerator eggs, except I am out of eggs.

I threw the leftover black rice and chicken bits into the crockpot with a can of black beans, two cans of diced tomatoes, and a pile of steamed carrots. Wish me luck.

The refrigerator now contains two cartons of yogurt, some milk, frozen fish which is currently thawing, and condiments. Should be an interesting week.
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Reading matters.  And in the current political climate, where No Child is supposed to be Left Behind, but millions are, it is penny-wise and pound foolish to cut education funding.  The Reading-Is-Fundamental program, which provides free books to children who may have no books in their homes, no one who reads to them, and few belongings they can call their own, is being cut from the 2009 Federal Budget.  If this annoys, aggravates, and saddens you, as it does me, please consider contacting your political representatives or going HERE to send an email sharing your opinions.
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I made a hula-hoop. I think the next one will be easier now that I know the secret (sandpaper).

It's a nine foot hoop and I can keep it up, barely, but it isn't fun. I think my next one will be ten feet.
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Conference acceptance:  looks like I should be in Irvine, CA in April.  I was almost hoping I wouldn't get accepted, since I dont know anyone else going, it's a bad time to be away, it's going to be expensive, etc. but professionally this is fabulous.

Where is Irvine, anyway?  And does anybody know anyone there?
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Should I ever start a WoW guild or some other imaginary group that needs a name, I dub us Group Askew.

It's from a book. And I will quite literally mail you a cookie if you can tell me which one (no cheating allowed).
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Horseback Riding Update:

- I am taking English riding lessons from the charming Reanna. She is my age, and seems to find me amusing. This is good.

- Instead of riding Tucker (Mr. Slow-but-Steady), I rode Doc (Mr. Sensitive).  Mr. Sensitive is a bit twitchy and will do anything for you, but only if he believes in you. 

- Mr. Sensitive is resistant to bridles and horse-danced in a circle - with me as the center point - while I tightened his girth. I don't think he was counting on me staying planted, continuing to pull, and telling him he was an idiot. I believe I was supposed to scream and flee, or maybe fall down.  Too bad for him, I grew up with much scarier beasties than horses around.

- My stirrups need to be at 11.

- Mr. Sensitive sort of believes in me.  He eventually came to believe that I meant business about staying near the fence and not taking extra rein. 

- We spent much of the lesson working at a trot.  My posting is getting much better, but I need to keep dropping my heels and loosening up my with my knees. I am using the knees as my contact point with the horse, rather than using my entire inner legs, which makes me less stable and the horse less likely to notice my communiques.

- Posting is really less about coming out of the saddle and more about rocking your hips. I'm a belly dancer, so I got hips down.

- I find two point position (where you stay at the UP of the up-down) harder, but got better when Reanna had me do Sitting Trot (jouncejouncejounce), then just tip forward a tiny bit. I got to the point where I didn't have to hang onto his lovely mane for dear life, which felt like progress.

- At the end of the lesson we cantered.  First, Mr. Sensitive didn't believe I wanted to canter.  After I administered some "ferocious kicks" (as per direction), he believed I wanted to canter, but didn't believe I was capable so kept dropping down to a trot.  I got the seat right the next try, and we cantered all the way around the ring, including both corners, a couple of times.  Cantering is great - it is like riding in a large, wooly rocking chair, and your job is to polish the saddle with the seat of your trousers.  Reanna was very impressed by my cantering, which made me happy.

-  I need to remember that one steers this sort of horse with this sort of tack by pulling one's hands straight back towards one's hips, rather than neck reining or pulling to the side.

- I dismounted all by myself - Reanna wasn't even holding his bridle - in the approved fashion. This means I kicked free of both stirrups, then - in one supposedly smooth motion - pulled my right leg up over the horse and slid to the ground. I was very impressed by this, myself, since I had never done it before.

- She also admired my boots, which had me cackling with glee inside.

- And my next lesson is next Friday. Yay.
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Oh wow do I like to teach. I made it through 9 powerpoint slides in 25 minutes, then spent the rest of my 50 minutes on an activity. I think they are getting it!
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I have arrived.
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Okay, wise innernets:

I need horseback riding boots. I'm doing English riding, but mostly I need barn boots which are stirrup appropriate and not terribly expensive.  Help a girl out?
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Or, you know, not.

I had my shoes, coat, and purse on, when I realized that the furnace hadn't kicked off in awhile. I yanked open the door to the basement, got a face full of steam and smoke, and slammed the door shut again.  First things first, I took Kiska out and put her in the car, so no matter what happens she is safe. Then I called my landlady - first time I have ever phoned her at work - and after some frantic phone calling on her part, the plumber who "fixed" the furnace this morning is on his way back. He is 20 minutes away, but I can't leave until I am certain the house wont burn down in my absence....

ETA: As per the plumber's advice, I waded into the smelly steam and pulled the breaker for the furnace. Then I went to my meeting, leaving the door open for him. Apparently he installed an incorrect part this morning and the furnace overheated and started making steam. It doesn't have power, so is theoretically safe, and I have the dehumidifier running to try and dry up the moisture clinging to everything in the basement. I am still not leaving Kiska here alone until we leave for Alaska on Monday. After the last couple car accidents I was feeling like she might be better off at home, but I am now officially over that idea. The world is feeling like a hostile place, and I want her close to me.
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Viktori!

The new computer - Constantine, to his friends - now prints to the printer in my home office, PDF format, and the networked printer in my office at school. I would like to claim that this is due to my innate brilliance, but mostly it is due to TDaC telling me to use "Printer Name (Copy 1)" instead of "Printer Name" at home, the school tech sending me a link with directions and drivers for the network printer, and Teh Internet (from which I downloaded and installed CutePDF). Of course I did all the work - that should count for something.

Constantine is a shiny, lovely computer. His docking station delights me, his lightness makes my shoulder happy, and I think we will be very happy together for the next two - four years. I like to eke three years out of a laptop, but this last one only made it 26 months and with my lifestyle, there are just no guarantees...

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