Jun. 16th, 2008

alexpgp: (Default)
I fell asleep around 9 pm last night, listening to Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. The subject didn't put me to sleep, but I notice I find it hard to listen to anyone reading a book for very long without drifting off. (In fact, I think I'm going to have to come up with a better method for listening, period, but that's grist for a separate post.)

Anyway, I woke up around 1:30 am and it's pretty clear, after a few minutes, that (a) I'm going to have to backtrack through the audio file, which is no big deal, as long as we're talking about "later," and (b) I need to actually finish the 3600-word job I completed earlier in the day and send it off before tomorrow, um,... this morning.

In the middle of doing that, I remembered that Saturday, I had agreed to do about 250 words for another client, also for tomorrow morning.

So, as of a few minutes ago, everything is done, despeckled, and sent, except for invoices.

The crap that I was sick with has left me with a cough and stuffy sinuses. I'm not much for taking over-the-counter medicine (had Galina not gotten sick too, we never would've gotten the bottle of Theraflu that she half-emptied), but I'm getting powerful tired of coughing. I think I may take a slug of the stuff before heading back to the rack.

Apropos of which, what am I doing still sitting at the computer?

alexpgp: (Default)
Okay, I got up late to start with, after which I went food shopping, but somehow I feel cheated that it's after 4 pm.

The State of the Plate is pretty good, considering I've got two hot little PowerPoint presentations for tomorrow morning backing up the other two jobs in the queue. This gives me some time to contemplate doing something intelligent with the washing machine that's in the garage.

alexpgp: (Corfu!)
I missed this by a day, but the following text comes from a typewritten diary entry made by my late mother on June 15, 1948, sixty years ago, wherein she talks of her singing lessons.
Tuesday, June 15, 1948

Today had a lesson. Have been absent from Madame's hearing since January 1947.

"Listen to your voice, don't think about how you are going to sing," she told me. "If you think too much, you will change it. You can see your voice was well-trained. All you need is to even it out."

"On dit toujours." Exercise. Up to C#. I didn't sing high enough, nor in the back of my mouth. Pursuant to C#, higher up it was too far in the back of the mouth. At present my C# is okay - I must even out the rest of the voice so it is of the same quality. My "on" was too nasal.

Before I started my lesson, I was all tense. Therefore, I don't think I had enough support when I was singing. Consequently, I feel even at the moment (I had my lesson from 4 to 4:30 and now it is 8 o'clock) my voice has been under strain.

Exercise 2. "Addio mio ben amor" The attack was good, but I must keep the "d" of "Addio" in the same place.

Exercise 31. "O mio ben, o mio ben amor" Staccati were best up to si bimol. The voice is set, she said, only I must even it out. Keep the staccati same as the high ones. I guess as usual I let go of the mask.

Then I sang Charmant Papillon. Rhythm trouble. No accent on the 3rd syllable of Papillon. My French is acting up again. Passe. Une fleur.
Shortly before leaving New York for Colorado, I uncovered a strange box filled with what appear to be individually recorded vinyl records. There wasn't much detail on the labels, but I get the impression that these were records that were "cut" by my mother back when she was serious about singing and related activities.

I look forward to listening to them when I get back to New York.

alexpgp: (Corfu!)
During today's shopping expedition, I decided it was high time to swig a couple of quarts of cranberry juice, which is touted as a substance that does a bangup job dealing with things like kidney stones.

(DISCLAIMER: There is, as far as I know, nothing wrong with my kidneys, thank you, but I recall that cranberry juice was the "non-pharmaceutical" part of what the doctor ordered back in early February of '04, when I likely did pass a kidney stone, and I like to run a quart or two through the system every once in a while, as a preventive measure.)

Anyway, the last time I bought cranberry juice I was surprised to find that most of it was something else. Today I found out that deliberately going out of your way to find unadulterated cranberry juice is not that easy. Even something sold under the Ocean Spray name (a name you'd naturally associate with cranberrys) as "100% Juice" and labeled "Cranberry," is actually a mixture of grape and cranberry juice, mentioned in that order on the label (which leads me to suspect that there's more grape juice in the mix than cranberry).

I eventually found a bottle of "Pure Cranberry" juice, sold by Mountain Sun, which lists its ingredients as "cranberry juice, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)." That's about as simple as it gets.

P.S. It should be noted that, word gymnastics aside, cranberry juice is very nearly always mixed with some other juice, like apple or grape, to provide sweetness. "Straight" cranberry juice isn't very sweet (but as I have explained, that's not why I drink it).

I am currently making some soup, with some dried (local) mushrooms, stew beef, and a package of Bird's Eye frozen vegetables. (Later, I added half of a small cabbage, sliced thinly.)

Shiloh seems interested.

alexpgp: (St Jerome a)
Nothing much happened with the kombucha (aka "чайный гриб") on Thursday, when I put together the mix. On Friday, the two principal "globs" of kombucha "mother" harvested from the packaged product sank and remained at the bottom of the tea until about halfway through the day on Saturday, when they again rose to the surface. No other change was apparent.

Yesterday, I started to notice something forming on the surface of the tea, something... organized. It looked like S-curves of... small particles. By evening, the pattern was less pronounced, but there was more stuff at the surface.

Today, I noticed that small piece of mother that had sunk and risen exhibited small black flecks, which alarmed me ("fungus!") until I removed the piece and ascertained that the black flecks are tea particles. While removing this piece, I was reassured by the right smell (the brew smells like kombucha) and there being a lot more colony-forming action near the surface. During the day, I noted two sources of a steady stream of small bubbles rising from the bottom of the mix.

Keeping my fingers crossed.



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