Monday, April 25, 2011

poll: excessively important

David and I received a lot of marriage advice before and after the big day. Some of it was contradictory. Several people told us to never go to bed angry, but then others told us the opposite, that it's much better to wait until the next day and talk with a cool head. Which do you think? DH and I aren't really sure.

Marital spats. Do you:

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Monday, April 18, 2011

San Francisco Bay to Breakers

I'm running in my next race 4 weeks from now. It is only 7.5 miles (12K), much shorter than the half marathon I did last February. I think it is the perfect length based on my burn out at the 8-mile mark during the half marathon.

Bay to Breakers is a huge deal in the Bay Area. It is like this big (and notorious) party. This year is cool because it is the centennial race and so registration is *limited* to 50,000 people. In honor of the 100th race the security is being tightened and there are no parade floats or alcohol allowed. I did see beer being passed out at one of the drink stations during my half marathon, but I'm sure it was nothing compared to what has gone on at Bay to Breakers in past years.

Alcohol or not, I'm actually going for the purpose of running (and not partying) so I'll probably be ahead of most of the revelry.

teehee! I am excited.

This is the only picture I have from the day of my half marathon, taken after I got home from the race. I forgot to put it up before. J-the-magnificent, doesn't that watch look familiar?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have become obsessed.

with Bengal Spice tea.

I am unashamed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

stringing you along: part 2

I can safely assert that I have taken excellent care of my cello(s), at least since age 12. ish.

Certainly, I have taken extra good care of my final-destination-adult-sized cello, which is still in my possession. You have been with me since I was 14. You have been my friend. You have been eerily in tune for most of the last thirteen years. (I am 27. 27-14=13. Ahem.) And your strings have NEVER broken. (Which is, for all you non string players out there, quite miraculous.)

Until last night. The unthinkable happened!! Poor ancient C string. Your days are over. Forever. There is nothing left for you now.

Luckily, I have this ancient stash of extra strings in my kitty music bag. (thanks mom, those cats will live forever). I know replacing a dead ancient string with a non-dead ancient string is asking for trouble, but we shall see. Maybe this next string will last another 13 years.

But the thing is, I had never changed a string. In all my 22 years of playing the cello, I never changed a string. NEVER! I was like a fake musician. A wolf in musicians clothing. I was false. But I knew this day would come. The day of exposure and then my true colors would shine forth.

And my true color did shine when, last night, with the help of YouTube, I changed my poor broken ancient C string and swapped it for a new (albeit ancient) one. And it worked! I so rock. And I did it with the clock ticking. (I might have perhaps procrastinated practicing something until 1 hour before the practice started, at which point I discovered the death of said C string. And I even had time left to practice. And write in fingerings.)

So thank you very much, the wolf has gone. Now I can say I am a true musician because:

1) I can string a cello
2) laura's cello and I are friends
3) I can play the cello in the dark

And, NO, you can't borrow my cello. Sorry. I do not feel bad about this.

For the sake of posterity, this post was written on 3/24/2011, and my string broke on 3/23.

Monday, April 04, 2011

stringing you along: part 1

Dear laura's cello,

You have been good to me.

But, historically speaking, have I been good to you? I might have mistreated several of your predecessors. When you start playing a musical instrument at the tender age of 5, you should expect havoc. Poor little baby cellos.

1) There was the bow-under-the-couch-cushion incident (resulting in a broken bow hanging by the hairs...), but that is behind us now. I think I was 5 or 6 years old at the time.

2) Then I might have accidentally stepped on a medium sized predecessor (which left a crack in the side of the lower body). But I was only 8 years old!

3) I might have doodled on you with the metal end of the bow a few times (in my former years as a callous youth. Yes, it was an evil horrific action on my part.) I want to say that I doodled on the same cello I had already stepped on, so it was a lost cause anyway:)

4) I have tripped over you and knocked you over numerous times. Too many to count! Cellos are tricky things. Beware of the end pin. Beware of the bridge. Beware of the scroll. They all protrude from the cello. Luckily, my mother believed in carpet.

5) Then came the day that I got the hard cello case. I still have you, laura's hard cello case. Of the original 5 shiny buckle clasps, only 3 are still in working order (and one was torn off at some point). When did Leslie marry Russ? That is the year I got you, dear cello case. Before that, I had only the flimsy cloth case, hence the occurrence of #2. I want to say I was 12 years old. Maybe mid 1990s. I have abused you too, poor case. I have kicked you, scratched you, stepped on you, and even sat on you. Intentionally. Yes, you did make a nice seat on occasion. But, you are awkward to carry and were always bruising my leg. So maybe we're even.

Thanks for everything. (more like, sorry for everything.)


laura's cello's owner, A.K.A., LRH

Friday, April 01, 2011

emergency book tracking

I have long been a fan of This is nothing new. They introduced author RSS feeds a couple years ago which was also fantastic, but now that has been discontinued. I used to be subscribed to the RSS feeds for my favorite authors so I could know about upcoming releases with minimal effort. Since they have discontinued the RSS feed service, I suddenly I find myself without any way to keep track of favorite author new releases. (A very serious problem!) My research on this issue has come up with several things:

1) I am not alone. Many people want this sort of tool.

2) Many publishers let you do author tracking via their website, but you have to go to a bunch of different websites for various publishers (not all of which will offer the service) and that takes too much effort. I want something centralized.

3) LibraryThing does not offer it. From what I have read, any author feeds they might automatically produce would be 99% alternate editions of old works, and not new stuff.

4) Goodreads has a new releases monthly email where they will email out the new releases for the upcoming month from authors that you already have on your goodreads shelf. The problem with that is it only draws from a public shelf AND from every author on the shelf. You can't select specific authors regardless of whether they are on your shelf or not.

5) Fictfact is a website that lets you track series. This could be helpful if you only read series that already have at least one book published. This will not track authors alone and doesn't have standalone works on the site at all. It does have RSS feeds though. Fictfact as it is does not meet my needs.

6) AuthorAlerts is likely the best option so far (for me) for a centralized author tracking system. I am trying it out. It looks like a relatively new site and imposes limits on the number of authors you can track. You start with 10 but can increase that to 100 if you "like" them on facebook, tweet about them, or blog about them (and then tell them you did it). I asked the site owner if the limit will ever be higher than 100, and they wrote back saying that the limit is really more like 3000, so basically unlimited. This site has RSS feeds for both upcoming books and recently released books for the authors you select, which is great. I'm hoping this website works out.

suggestions are welcome.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.