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Holiday Card post is here

Ask Me Anything Meme is here . Lots more spaces left.

My story for RS Games 2016 is here .

Yesterday was my Dad's 60th birthday. I made a banana cake with cream cheese frosting on Tuesday for it, and earlier sent him a package with two books from Amazon to open on his birthday morning. My parents came over last night since they were staying overnight to make it easier for my Mom to watch Tanya today. We had a little celebration with a beets and herring dish and different cakes. And Tanya sang him a birthday song. It was low key and exactly what my Dad wanted. My Mom is turning 60 later this month, and usually they do like to do a trip for their big birthdays. But this year they are helping us with renovations so they are just staying put.

Last week, we spent Thursday to Sunday in Long Island with Bear's parents and sister. Thursday was Thanksgiving and his Mom made the turkey and the meal. I brought over my cranberry orange muffin bread. I love Thanksgiving food, such comfort food. I love green bean casserole and stuffing and mashed potatoes and turkey. It was all delicious. And the pumpkin pie was really tasty. My favorite moment was when Tanya was napping and I was resting with her and the cooking turkey smell was just permeating the room. So good. It just smells like holiday.

I had lots of work and grading to do but I still managed to watch the new Gilmore Girls and to have a date with Bear. For our anniversary a few months ago, his parents got us tickets to the local theater to see "Mary Poppins" musical. It is a very good theater we've been to a few times before. The seats were great, row G, so we could see the stage very well (when we go to Broadway we always end up sitting on the very top because of prices, so it was fun to sit closer). And the musical itself was a lot of fun. We got hot chocolates and I snuck in some M&Ms candy. After the show, which was from 3pm to 6pm, we called home to make sure everything was good and Tanya didn't wear out her grandparents and then we went out to dinner. We finally got to have Indian food. It was a little too spicy but still very good and we had leftovers for two lunches, so yay. I got lamb bryani this time.

On Saturday evening we went over Bear's brother's house for dinner with Bear's parents. They keep chickens in the backyard and at one point they brought in a hen and a rooster into the house so Tanya could look at them and pet them. She did pet them and declared them very soft, but mostly she just wanted to watch them. They were black chickens, very pretty.

I got a brand new Kindle Paperwhite. Tanya broke my Kindle cover this year and my 5 year old Kindle was slowly going. So I knew that I should get a new one with this Thanksgiving sale. I got it as soon as it went on sale and with various gift cards it ended up only $32 plus a cover (I got a Flinti map cover). And not a moment too soon. My old Kindle finally completely broke on Sunday. So I was very happy when my Dad brought me the new one yesterday (I ship to his work). I'm still getting used to it. I don't like it telling me how many minutes is left on the chapter, it feels like a timer, so I need to change that. And it seems so bright. But I can read my books again, so yay.
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Love my Kindle. I printed Voltaire’s “On Toleration” that I gave my students (they think it is too long, of course.) But I wanted to find a Kindle copy for easier reading and carrying around. A small Google search and there was one online, in public domain, in Kindle format which I downloaded through Calibre and was all set.
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Happy New Year to everyone! I hope the New Year will bring only good things.

I’m back to posting and being back online consistently – it was nice to take a short break although I did still check email and watched videos online. I also just caught up to posting the last week on my journal. I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone’s reading pages so I posted them just on my journal, in case anyone wants to read it.

But here is a short summary of my Christmas/New Year/holiday week: I had a very nice Christmas with Bear’s family where I got four books among my presents (yay), including Stephen Fry’s latest autobiography, and a pocket watch so I could pretend to be in Doctor Who universe. Then Bear and I went to Montauk for a nice relaxing vacation with hiking every morning and even time at a spa! And in the middle of this vacation on a beautiful Waking Dunes hike, Bear proposed with a lovely ring, which I thought was just perfect for me. It has an art deco design on the sides. So I got to be a bit giddy and girly.

2011 A Year in Review in a list )

Today itself was a low key day. While Bear set up his laptop in my room and was doing some work I read Karen Armstrong’s article “Homo religiosus” which I will teach next semester. I do love her stuff but she is dense and complex. The students will certainly be challenged.

I did go outside to go to the bank with Bear but otherwise I stayed home and read.

Of course, in the evening I had to get ready for our holiday celebration. It was just my parents and Bear but since it is New Year, we all dressed up – with yellow and orange themes since next year is the year of the Dragon. So I’m wearing an orange shirt I got for my birthday, a black skirt and stockings with make-up and everything. I look more like a tiger. Mama made a delicious table of holiday food including a chicken and we took our annual holiday photos with the tree.

I hope 2012 will be a good year. That is the best part about the New Year celebration a hope of a new beginning.

Some pictures from the last week: )
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Internet knows all – I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of “Loan Ended” notice on Kindle, after you return the library book on Kindle, so I looked it up. (for future reference, self, go to the notice and press right or left arrow and then delete).

Today was the get together dinner with my friends so I took the train and ferry and subway to Queens. We tried a French place called “Café Henri” in Long Island City (which is in Queens right across from midtown Manhattan). The place was good – I got crepes with ratatouille. Bear got a lamb sandwich. Yeva even ordered escargot. So we had a good time. Galya will be six month old tomorrow and she continues to be adorable. We all played with her a little bit. She is really good at restaurants. She doesn’t fuss much for a baby and she likes looking around.

After the late lunch, we went for a walk to the waterfront and the view of Manhattan was gorgeous. It was almost sunset so we saw all the lights go on. It was pretty cold but we were all bundled up. Galya was wearing baby Uggs. Then Bear drove me home and we hung out at my house. Overall a good day.

Pictures of the city: )

Awesome poster of a fake Avengers comic book poster if men were posed like women are usually posed in comics.
bearshorty: (Default)
My head was still not 100% but it got better with getting some air. Papa and I went to Brooklyn while Mama had a work thing. First we went to Brighton Beach (the Russian area in New York) We went to a Russian bookstore since Papa needed a birthday present for a friend and I kind of started Christmas shopping. I do love that store. And then I ended up in children’s section and bought a little book for Galya for when I see her next. She is only five month old but you are never too young for books. I got her “Masha and the Bear” story and it is made for very young children with thick glossy little pages. I will so spoil that kid. After the bookstore we went to the Russian supermarket and I got a cabbage pastry – it was so good.

Then we went to visit my grandmother at the rehab place. She is finally going home on Monday. We got her a treat at the store too which she really liked. And we stopped by to see my grandfather on the way home. He is happy grandma is coming home. They have been married for more than fifty-five years and were together for almost sixty years now. As he says – he gets bored with no one to fight and bicker with.

On the way home I realized that “Fast Five” was out on DVD and I had Papa drop me off at a Redbox to get it. After some deliberation I just rented it. And I watched it in the evening. It was a lot of fun. I liked that many characters from previous movies play a large role and the stunts were as crazy and silly as usual. These movies are not really about acting or plot but they are really enjoyable silly fun and I’m glad I finally watched them. And lots of guys with big muscles are fun to watch.

The marathon on Sunday and the blocked bridge offered a nice solution to Bear and me. Bear just came over in the very late evening. Both of us were reading our Kindles before going to sleep – how far we come with technology. Even six month ago neither of us wanted one. But since I got mine as a present and Bear read “Hunger Games” on mine during our vacation and decided he wanted one, Kindle is now part of our reading lives. He is reading the classics – he just finished “Tom Sawyer” and is now on “Huckleberry Finn” and I was at the last parts of “The Hobbit.”
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Oh My God. Best news Ever. Get library books with Kindle!

Today I was teaching my history students how to write papers. The students in my Global class had to bring a three page rough draft, which I think was a great idea since I could go over things like thesis and topic sentences. For my law class, I should have held the class in the library itself instead of just showing the library website. I let them go early today, not that they minded. I did give a good handout of topics and explained how to search for articles.

Local College offered me two classes for the Spring semester again. I will still teach Global but I also get a new upper class. I basically got a choice between two classes. This was their description from their course catalog:

teaching choices )

Both sound very fun but, of course, I was leaning toward Sex and Power since I can do Karras and Cadden and such and after some thinking I decided on that one. I finally get to do a gender class. Yay.
bearshorty: (Default)
I had the TV in the background all morning listening to the list of names. I think people need to be remembered and just the long list of names underscores this tragedy.

I went to the story to buy “oreo’ cookies for my writing class demonstration on Tuesday (an oreo cookie = paragraph). I did buy the generic version of the cookies since they were a whole two dollar cheaper.

There is a drawback to electronic books, especially in using Kindle. For my class tomorrow, we are reading an excerpt from Cicero’s “On Laws.” While I can get the Latin version online pretty easily there was only one copy of the English version in one of the free online databases. And I followed Kindle instructions on how to download it to Kindle. And it did work. The problem is the book is about 500 pages and “On Laws” was on page 390. Kindle doesn’t copy the page numbers, I can’t exactly jump there nor can I easily skip to the place I want. So the technology needs to catch up on having searchable free e-books.

True Blood S4E12 )
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Today was a sewing machine adventure day. Mama and I were going to go to a dry cleaning store where there is a sewing machine to get the backing done on the baby blanket. But she wondered if maybe anyone around here had a sewing machine because she could do it herself then. I texted Laura, my neighbor, “Random Question. Do you by any chance have a sewing machine?” and a few minutes later she replied “ Yes, It’s at home. David bought it. Ask him.” So her husband just recently bought a sewing machine for himself. It was still mostly in the box because he hasn’t set it up yet but he let us borrow it and figure it out. I’ll show him how to thread it later as a thank you. So we set it up in the kitchen and it took a bit of time to figure out the diagrams. Now, I haven’t touched a sewing machine in 20 years (we had home ed type class in school when I was 10 to 12) and while Mama is good on it, it has been a while for her. This machine was electronic too, you can set up all kinds of patterns – it is very cool. So after some trial and error and figuring out what the pictures in the instructions really pointed at (it really felt like a puzzle), I am now an expert at bobbin it and putting the top thread in and everything. Mama is the one who actually did the backing though. I don’t trust myself to actually sew a straight line. I’m decent at cross stitch, but I’m not that sure on the sewing machine. Still, I learned something new today.

I finished “Mockingjay” today.thoughts on Mockingjay )

I have so many other books I want to and need to read. I think going to read the Arabian Nights, the Burton’s version I got from Kindle, very slowly and I need to finish ‘Lavinia.’
I also went to Amazon to poke around and so many classics are on Kindle for free (bless the public domain), so little time: “Paradise Lost”, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, “The War of the Worlds”, “Jane Eyre” and some Thomas Hardy all found their way into my Kindle. Don’t know when I will read them but I like having them. I’m restraining myself from just downloading all of Jane Austen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 10:16 pm
bearshorty: (Bearshorty Purple with Heart)
I had a good birthday today. I like being 31 already.

I woke up in a really good mood today because presents! My parents told me where they put them before they left on vacation.

And I got a Kindle! Usually Papa gives me a book or two – this time 61 on Kindle! (Except I accidentally lost them when I re-registered my Kindle to my name, but then once I creates new categories I saw that they were still in memory, just not organized like Papa wanted). He got me a Kindle! I briefly suspected this a week ago in the conversation with Mama because she used the phrase “Dad’s Kindle” but then I dismissed the idea because why would Papa get me one, I never really expressed the interest or used his before the last two weeks – but he did get me one! With a pink cover with a night light. (I’m not really a pink person but it will match my laptop). And I can use it to read things like Burton’s travel accounts and his Arabian nights translation (which I already downloaded for free) and other free old books that are out of print. So I am happy to get one although I still prefer regular books.

My parents, who are awesome, also got me $25 iTunes gift certificate (Lady Gaga and SYTYCD music here I come), Mozart’s “Magic Flute” CD and “Torchwood: Children of Earth” DVD. And I got a Ralph Lauren orange t-shirt and green cargo pants.

In the afternoon, I went to the store to take a walk and also to get the Chinese menu in case I wanted Chinese tonight. And I wanted to get ice-cream too or some sort of desert. On the way I saw an ice-cream truck and I figured it was a perfect place to get ice-cream. Very summery. So I asked for a mixed cone with chocolate sprinkles. The guy asked me how I was doing as he made the cone and I was in a very good mood and I told him it was my birthday. He didn’t initially really believe me but I had my driver’s license with me so I showed it to him. He asked if I was doing anything special for it and I said not really. So he told me to put my wallet away and then he tossed the cone he was making and took the Big Gigantic Waffle Cone and not only filled it with gigantic amount of ice-cream and put sprinkles on it but also put the whipped cream on top! It was sugar overload! I don’t think I will have sugar for a while! And it just contributed to my happy mood. Thank you, Robert, the ice-cream guy for making my birthday great.

I decided on pizza in the evening and I invited my neighbor Laura and the kids over for it. Alexis came over earlier around 6 since she wanted my help with her school project. She is in the 3rd grade and was doing a project on Israel. Each kid in her class had to pick a country in Asia and research it. She already found many things. I showed her an Atlas and how to use it. Laura gave me very tasty tea and tea cups as a present. I got half cheese, half mushroom pizza, garlic knots and buffalo wings.

Then we watched SYTYCD and the Spelling Bee. Those kids always amaze me. It is insane what they can spell. It makes me love language and words even more.

And, of course, my favorite thing about today is that I get to speak to all my loved ones – family and friends who call to wish me happy birthday. Like my friend Sveta who called from across the world and my aunt.

Weird things customers say in bookstores . Really funny.

So apparently the Governor of NJ went insane and passed a law that only residents of NJ should be considered for public positions in the state. This includes Trenton employees, Rutgers University and other people who work for the public sector. Many people who work in NJ don’t live there because New York and Pennsylvania are so close. I know Rutgers negotiated with the state government to come up with some exceptions to this highly ridiculous law because, hey lots of professors want to live in New York City, but this law will affect many people. Not everyone can just move. The Governor calls this law “New Jersey First Act” and it even sounds stupid. I realize he is trying to reduce unemployment in the state but is it really feasible?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday, May 30th, 2011 11:00 pm
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It is Memorial Day so it is a day to remember all the soldiers who fight in wars.

Kindle. Ok, I’ve learned how to skim, there is a button that moves you back to the start of a chapter so I can skim ahead from the first chapter page and then get back to it. And there is a button to show the page number I’m actually on. I still miss having a book but I have adjusted to reading on Kindle. And I could skim my book, which was nice.

My internet is being finicky. Everything is connected but no Internet connection. I kind of need it tomorrow for work. I did send off my department forms that were due tomorrow so that is something. I did manage to talk to Mama on Skype too.

Today was a working day – both Bear and I had work to do on our computers. But I did make a nice dinner of baked ziti and a burger (I just had baked ziti). For lunch, I gave Bear the curry from yesterday but for myself I took a cooked potato I had and fried it up with pepper and onions and it was delicious. I love frying circles of a potato that was previously boiled. We also went for a nice walk in the evening and finished watching the second Pirate movie.

We had a day planned tomorrow but all those plans went out of the window because Bear has to go home tomorrow morning because of a medical emergency going on with his family. I can’t go into detail because Bear asked me not to but I do want to ask for good thoughts sent into the universe.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 11:00 pm
bearshorty: (Bearshorty Blue)
Another lovely summer day. I went for a walk to the bank around noon and I did an extra block loop since I didn’t want to go inside and just wanted to enjoy the sunshine. This weather certainly contributes to my good mood. And I got a little tan reading on the balcony again this afternoon.

In honor of summer, I painted my toe nails red. I’m not a girly girl, really – I don’t really wear make-up or bother much about my hair or care for shopping (shoes and clothes shopping bore me) but I love painting my toes nails especially in the summer for the sandals. That and summer t-shirts and tops make me a happy girl.

Last night I figured out why I prefer regular books to Kindle and why that is unlikely to change. Now, I don’t mind the Kindle, it is certainly easy to handle and fine for the eyes and I read lots of things on the computer (like fanfic) so it is not new technology but I can’t skim ahead with Kindle. The way I read, I start a book in a regular way and at some point I skim ahead a few chapters just to see what happens and then I go back and read it slowly. There are occasions when I restrain myself like with the last Harry Potter book when I peaked ahead just once. With Kindle I can’t really do that. And also while I can see on the bottom just much of the book I read and how much I still have to read, I really would like to see it physically. I have no actually sense of the book.

Borgias Season One )

Avatar:TLA S3E4 )

Cross-stitch: I’m done! I was cross-stitching for two hours this evening with TV on and I finished all the dark grey backstitch. I used every single thread of this color too. But since the little bear’s eyes also needed this color I did have to pull out my box of thread. And then I figured I just have stem-stitch (green for balloon strings) and French knots (eye sparkle and cuffs), so I might as well just get it done. It took another hour. I never done stem stitch before so that was interesting but I got a handle on it pretty quickly. And then I just did my cross-stitch signature and I was done. The baby is due any day so I made it on time. I do still have to wash it and make the backing for it and buy the fabric for that but the cross stitching portion of it is done. I started this on January 1 but almost half was done this month. Yay, I'm done

Here is the picture of it:

Read more... )
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First day of history class. I don’t really get nervous when I have to lecture or speak in front of the class. Not since my very first lecture long long time ago. Then, my heart was pounding. But as I started talking it just became right and I’m never really nervous standing in my class again. But the first day of class, especially in the new school is still a little nerve-wracking since I do want to make a good professional impression. The first real lecture is on Monday, once that will be done I can settle into a rhythm.

I got to campus early since I had a lot of little things to do like get my ID. Since that office didn’t open until 9, I sat in the Union for forty minutes on my laptop and finalized my Powerpoint presentation for the day – I needed to go over time and BC and AD system of time. Even after showing and telling what 7th century AD/CE was they had a hard time figuring out what years 7th century BC/BCE might be. Hopefully, they got it by the end.

Getting ID and all administrative stuff proved surprisingly fast and easy probably because it is a small school. I photocopied more articles to put on the class website and the school was really quick in converting it all to PDFs and putting them online. The bookstore did forget to order “Marco Polo” book, but after I caught that, they were fast enough to order it.

I also spent the morning trying to figure out the class website system and it took me longer than I thought it would. But I got it now and can post freely.

The students are pretty good, they all showed up on time, which was a bit weird. Maybe this school, which is so anal about attendance, has them well trained.

“Modern Family: continues to be funny.

I finally started “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” this morning. I got it in the library last Thursday but just didn’t get to it until today. I am really enjoying it.

Papa got a Kindle today so he is very excited about his new toy and kept telling me about all the cool features on it like being able to save quotes as you read into a file. He did say his eyes got a little tired. I, personally, don’t want a reading device, I love the physical aspects of books but I do recognize the ability to download old books in the public domain that are not easily available.

Exercise: 35 min walk


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