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It was nice to be home today and catch up on my sleep. I even had a nap in the afternoon. I don't have to go in to work on Fridays this semester. I should be doing some work for school but I just know that Fridays will be a day to relax before working through the weekend.

I spent more of the day reading. And napping. And watching the episode of "Community" twice.
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Soup Project 2014: Soup 2 - Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 qt chicken broth (I used water)
1 3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp chopped parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions
1. In a soup pot heat oil. Add onions and cumin and saute 3-4 minutes. Add potatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup 20-25 minutes.
2. Puree soup with 1 1/2 cup of yogurt and parsley. Serve each portion of soup with a dollop of remaining yogurt and sprinkled pumpkin seeds.

Thoughts on Soup:
My mother-in-law gave me this recipe a while ago and now that I have my blender I could finally try it out. And it is pretty simple, which I like. This came out pretty well. It will last for a while too. I do think next time I'll make it, I'll use 5 cups of water instead of 6 to make it thicker. I did use water instead of chicken stock, since I don't have any chicken stock and water is just fine. I also added sour cream into a bowl at the end instead of more yogurt since I like sour cream in soup like this. And I didn't have pumpkin seeds. I did love the parsley; it added a great flavor. I do have to say I love my new blender - you just stick it in a pot and it purees super quickly.



Other than making the soup today for lunch, I made myself a delicious salad since parsley smelled so good when I was cooking. And for dinner I made lo main noodles with stir fried onion and peppers (red, yellow and orange) and I make some steak. Original plan was to make broccoli for home cooked beef and broccoli lo main, by the broccoli didn't look that good - I think it was in the fridge too long. Still it all came out nice.

Bear and I also watched a new episode of "Community" after dinner and now I'm continuing my "Pride and Prejudice" rewatch.

"Supernatural" episodes I watched today S2E16 Roadkill and S2E17 Heart - were really good. I'm really enjoying Season 2.
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It started snowing finally about a few hours ago, after anticipating snow all day. Bear is staying at his parents' house tonight since it is closer to his work and he will need to help them shovel tomorrow. His Dad just had back surgery a couple of weeks ago, so they really need the help.

I went out the house this morning to mail some letters and do a little shopping and to get fresh air since it will be so cold for the next few days that I doubt I'll leave the house.

I am contemplating a cooking project - I'm going to try making black bean soup for the first time and I'm using dry beans. I've been looking up various advice and recipes online and will improvise something tomorrow.

Today also marked the long awaited return of "Community." And it is back to form since the showrunner is back. Last season I felt I was just sitting through the episodes but I'm back to enjoying them now. I'm so glad the show is back.

I'm also rereading Art Spiegelman's "Maus." After going to the wonderful exhibit on Spiegelman's career at the Jewish Museum last month, I just wanted to read it again. It's been over ten years and I don't remember all the details. It was the first graphic novel I really read and learning the background and even seeing a dead model mouse Spiegelman used is really adding a new level to it. (The Jewish Museum in New York also has a great Chagall exhibition right now and the museum is free on Saturdays - this why I love living in a big city.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, May 14th, 2012 11:00 pm
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For the first time in maybe half a year I actually watched Monday’s TV live. First “How I met Your Mother (HIMYM)” and then “House.”

I have been keeping up with “HIMYM” online but I was mostly bored with it and in the first half of this evening’s episode I switched to HBO and Harry Potter during the commercial and didn’t care to go back. The show seems to mostly stay in place and it is just not interesting anymore. I don’t think I’m coming back for it next season.

I need to catch up to about 4 episodes of ‘House’ and I don’t really care. I do like House and Wilson interaction in the latest storyline but that is about it – the rest, the patients just leave me indifferent. I will watch the finale, of course, and I will probably catch up to the episodes I missed by having them run in the background while I’m doing something else but I’m glad the show is ending. It used to be a must watch for me but I really stopped caring.

In fact, this TV season has the lowest number of shows that I follow or that I watch live. There are only three that I watch as they actually air and that I get excited about: Glee, Community and Grimm. I’m still surprised by how much I got into Glee this year after two years of indifference and occasional watching. Community is the funniest comedy around and Grimm is my favorite new show and I adore it to pieces and it just keeps getting better and better.

Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy are shows I like that I usually watch online after they air. HIMYM is the show I do watch online but reluctantly. And House I kind of watch online now, but not really. I gave up on Bones in April when I realized that I just didn’t care anymore and I don’t miss it at all. But that’s it.

At least summer is coming up with the crack that is True Blood, SYTYCD and Burn Notice. I’m done with Leverage and I don’t even remember other shows. I haven’t even finished last four episodes of Dexter Season 6. (And I will watch Borgias all at once on Demand probably).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 11:00 pm
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Finally, all the Global history papers are done – I dropped them off in my mailbox when I went to pick up make-up exams. And while I was waiting for Mama outside her office (she was quitting her job), I started on the final exams for the other class. And I got them done today too. Just one more grading day to go.

Community is the best sitcom ever – it throws random scenes that are hysterical. The fake clip show episode was fantastic.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 11:00 pm
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Last folder review today and end to the writing classes and lots and lots of grading. I woke up at six and did 20 papers straight. That is a lot of papers. I also added some comments to Paper 4. But I got everything done by the time I had to do my folder review and my brain didn’t feel like it was going to fall out of my skull.

Whenever I finish a semester or a class, it never feels exciting, just anticlimactic – mostly because I’m just tired from all the grading. I still have all those history papers and final exams let, so my semester is not over and I’m glad the writing classes are over but I don’t really feel anything about it.

At least ending a day with a new Community episode is always a plus.
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I gave the final exams to my writing students. I actually wrote two different exams so the second section did not have an advantage.

“Community” did a Law and Order mock up. I never watched Law and Order but I do occasionally watch cop shows so it was still funny. Plus the internet pointed out many references. They killed Starburns? That is a little much for a comedy. Dean has a good singing voice.

Proofreading paper twice is just greedy, student. A student whose rough draft I proofread sent me a new version today. I actually had to say I couldn’t do it since I have so many papers to grade
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I’m working through the Sandman at a faster pace than MarkReads, and I’m getting into it again. It is a little funny – I read the first four volumes before so a lot of it is like reading a brand new story – but as I read it is coming back to me. I think I can appreciate it more now, especially since I’ve read much more Gaiman.

Thursday is a grading day so I pretty much just did that.

“Community” was a little weird today with an Abed episode.

Friday, April 5, 2012

Thursday, April 5th, 2012 11:00 pm
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Lots of students come to my office now, since their last two papers really count. So I spent the morning grading and meeting with students. I actually like it when they show up – at least they are trying.

At 12:30 I went to the Faculty Dining Room for the first time since I was meeting a friend there for lunch. Nika is another writing professor and we’ve been chatting this whole school year. She wanted to take me to lunch since January to celebrate my engagement and finally we were able to arrange our schedules. Usually I just go to the Union to get food, but the Faculty Dining Room is quite fancy. For $10, there is a stylish buffet and desert too. And waiters. I was so full after that I didn’t really eat dinner when I got home. I also took and pasta and bread dishes that I could since I keep Passover and I don’t get to have all that for eight days starting tomorrow night.

For the fifth reading in my writing classes, I assignmed Karen Armstrong’s “Homo Religiosus” from her book The Case for God. And they had such a problem with it because they see hard vocabulary words and they don’t even try to look them up or work through the essay to try to understand it. I basically spend the whole class walking them through the article, breaking it down for them. I postponed their next Rough Draft and instead I told them to re-read the essay and make a vocabulary list. One student actually asked if they needed to look up the definition too!!! Argh. We’ll see. I don’t regret giving them a harder essay. They are in college and need to be able to read essays like this.

“Community” was making fun of Ken Burns type documentary last night with Pillows vs Blankets and I could not stop laughing. One of their best episodes. I love this show.
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It is really weird to use my parents’ computer. But there is no choice.

Today was pretty ordinary – grading rough drafts, catching up on ‘House,’ watching “Community.” I did love all 1984 references and making fun for corporations as people.
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And it’s cold again. The weather can’t decide what it wants but can’t complain about it because it is March after all.

On the positive note “Community” is back! While it was not their best episode ever, this show is still funnier than most comedies and I missed it so. I’m going to rewatch it to make sure I catch all the jokes.

I’m writing a Harry Potter story that is due this Sunday. It’s been sitting at the back of my head for a while. It is a fic from Sirius’ perspective, which is the first time that happened and really shocks me too, and the story is flowing out of me. It is writing itself, basically. I just wrote over 2,000 words in one sitting. I like it when that happens.
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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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“Good Omens” came up on my library holding list so I downloaded it to my Kindle today. Just from reading the introduction I know I will love it so so much. I can’t stop laughing.

Papa finally has his scan appointment since the medicine finally came in. That means that he had to go on the iodine free diet right before Hanukkah and past New Year so he will miss some holiday cakes. Maybe I can make him a desert for the holiday to the diet’s specification.

Community )

Dexter S6E8 )
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It is another Thursday and another day of avoiding papers, no matter how much I know I need to do them.

“Community” – I will so miss it. From random cat to Batman shadow to Abed’s inept climbing to the kicking the soccer ball foosball style – this show so makes me laugh.
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From Tuesday, forgot to write: “Slynx” is being hysterical with Kirkorov song references – really, I don’t know how non Russian people would get it. I had to stop reading and laugh for two minutes at least because I could hear the song in my head. So it was funny to me. I need to see Bear’s English copy of it over Thanksgiving to see how the translation sounds.

I now officially love the whole “21” album by Adele. I look forward to every song. Doesn’t happen often.

I watched “Community” (which remains awesome – I was strangely distracted by Dean’s unexpected muscles tonight) and “Bones” which is the show I watch while doing other things now. It’s fine but it is definitely past its prime
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I was grading Exam 2 all morning and all the way until my 1pm lecture. But I got them done. Somehow Mondays are most productive grading wise.

My made-up on the spot law lecture based around Manor roll records went over great – they did need a little review after all the lecturing. And it allowed me to really clarify the concepts of different jurisdictions. And in my Global class I gave them an In-Class Exercise and gave my Africa lecture. So productive day at least.

Hunger Games trailer came out today. It looks so perfect just like the book is reproduced on screen exactly how I saw it in my head. I can’t wait.

House S8E6 )

HIMYM )

NBC benches “Community” in January for a bit – No, NBC, that is your best written show! I really hope they get one more year.
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Not much is going on today. As usual I’m killing time to avoid grading. It is a really bad habit. I watched “Community” which was really funny as usual especially the song montage. I’ll watch all other Thursday shows later.
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It is again one of those day where I can’t bring myself to grade. Migraine is not helping. At least I put together my lesson plan for tomorrow on how to have a good thesis.

Wow, the new TV resolution is amazing. Even before I turned it to HD. I was watching “Bones” on it and it was like I was in the room with the characters. Which was not always a great thing as the corpse was also in a very high resolution and a little gloss.

I’m still mad at “Bones” for denying an audience significant moments but at least we don’t have to deal with annoying will they/won’t they anymore. I like it better this way.

“Community” continues to rock. I want that jingle as a song.
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It’s my parents’ 33rd wedding anniversary. Papa called me during the day to consult on what flowers to get. We decided on classic roses. Since Mama didn’t launch into her usual gift criticisms, she liked it.

The day was rainy. I was planning to go to the library to return a book but it looks like I’ll go on Saturday and pay a fine instead. I was looking forward to a walk. Ah, well.

I talked to Sveta on Skype today and my computer decided to be bitchy for an unknown reason. First it froze and I had to take out the battery and unplug it to restart and then the battery didn’t want to work properly either. My laptop doesn’t really cause many problems and I really don’t want it to start. It was great to talk to Sveta though and see her and her little girl on camera. Lika is six now.

Mama decided to make draniki (potato pancakes) tonight, which is my absolute favorite food. Papa grated all the potatoes by hand. We usually just make them on Hanukkah but today was a pleasant exception. Draniki is a traditional Belorussian food and they are awesome with sour cream.

“Community” had its Halloween episode tonight - horror stories tropes. Hee. Very funny as usual.
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Grading day. Folder review is tomorrow and I need to grade Paper 2 and some midterms. I have 23 papers to go but the most I can do a day is 15 to 16. Grading to folder review day is weird because I grade for a few hours and I need to break with something. So I would pause for a small break. But it is exhausting. I’m pretty much either grading or resting my brain and I do this all day from 7am until after midnight knowing I need to get up at 6am and grade some more.

I did finish one class by 1:30pm, so I had time to each lunch and take a nice walk to the library. Mama came with me most of the way before she took a store detour so I didn’t get to be in head as much as I like. But it was a nice walk even as the weather was drizzly and I got a little wet from the October weather.

I don’t know how I can even finish Sharon Kay Penman’s “Lionheart,” the book I picked up in the library, in two weeks. And I can’t renew, I don’t think, since it is a new book. It is almost 600 pages and as much as I know I will get into it, I just don’t have that much time. I will probably have to request later. And as I looked at the end, this is only half of the story of Richard I – another Richard book coming called “King’s Ransom”. Yay. So this book is until the end of the Third Crusade. I love her historical fictions. She really creates the world and history provides all the crazy characters and events. I just love the historical accuracy of it all. I finally understood the whole Becket and Henry II nuances after I read her “Time and Change,” she just makes my history alive. (I study medieval England and I get to teach it again from the law perspective in November in my law class. I can’t wait.)

As I read the first chapter of the Penman book I noticed that writing fanfic in the past year is changing the way I read. As I started “Lionheart,” I was automatically paying attention to writing techniques like when point of view was shifting or exposition. I don’t know if it is good or bad.

Tonight’s “Community” made me laugh so hard. It was definitely one of the best episodes. I love the multiple timelines. The fifth timeline – the “darkest” one made me laugh and laugh way into the commercial. Loved how ‘real’ timeline ended up – the less Jeff, the happier they are. Really clever tonight, show.

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