*yawn* G’morning,…

*yawn* G'morning, everyone. Gosh, I'm exhausted today -- and for no good reason that I can think of. Yesterday, Lydia dropped her kids off and Sherman came over to help me babysit them (her parents were taking her to Phantom), and I admit they were rather exhausting (we played jungle princesses (I have a *great* climbing tree outside) and pirate queens (Sherman played too :-) and made Mickey Mouse pancakes (with chocolate chip faces) and watched The Last Unicorn and made a total shambles of my closet playing dress-up and spent quite a while coloring, which was all more tiring than one would think, not to mention making dinner and cleaning up after), and I am reminded once more to have infinite respect for parents who do this EVERY DAY. Then Lydia came back and we chatted and had dinner and put the kids to bed (They were all staying over the night) and stayed up late-ish talking and drinking the absolutely delicious cream sherry Lydia brought, but it wasn't that late. And we got up this morning (at 7-ish, 'cause that's when the kids thought we should be up :-) and made biscuits with jam and honey and butter and took something like three hours to get them ready to go :-). But none of this really explains why I'm so tired today that I fell asleep for two hours at Sherman's (I came over to work here this afternoon 'cause there are fewer distractions (really! :-) and 'cause we're going dancing tonight; free swing lessons again tonight.

You can tell I'm tired, 'cause that was a really long and rambly paragraph. :-) Sorry...

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It’s an absolutely…

It's an absolutely gorgeous day here today (y'all are going to get tired of hearing me say that, I think. :-). I'm in a very good mood, mostly beause I had a truly exhilarating instrumental ensemble class today. They're something thrilling about playing ensemble...like Menolly said, "it's like flying on a dragon". :-) When it goes well, that is, and even when it doesn't (and it can be very very frustrating at times...when you can't get a part and you know people are biting their tongues or vice versa, for example) it's still a real pleasure. I can't believe they're actually giving me credit (only half a credit, but still) for this class. :-)

I was actually pretty mopey for no good reason last night. Only for about an hour or so, but I was pretty down. Good thing Kevin is extremely patient about listening to me complain. I did have some reason -- I'm sort of stuck, both in my novel and in my Renaissance paper, which is making me feel both frustrated with school and guilty for not getting enough done. I'm also excited about a new project John and Brian and I are discussing -- a collaborative novel, and I really would rather be working on that...:-) Ah well. We'll see if I can get at least some synthesis and revision done on the novel today, though some new material would also be good.

Oh, some of you were asking about whether the book will be available through your local bookstore. It may be, though it's difficult to persuade bookstores to stock material. What'll definitely work is to take them the ISBN# and have them special order it. Or you can call or e-mail my publisher directly. All the info's on the Torn Shapes of Desire page.

Not much else to report today. Still eating leftovers from dinner Wednesday, so nothing exciting there. :-) I think when I decide I can't work anymore I'm going to go rent some movies and veg out tonight. Oh, finished Hyperion. I must kill Kevin for not loaning me the sequel. Argh. Currently re-reading Taran Wanderer, from my beloved Prydain Chronicles. Running a little low on books (well, I have a bunch of serious reading to do, but that's not quite what I want. :-)

2:15 - Okay, I know I said I was going to work on the novel, but I ended up doing the revisions for "Interruptions" instead. Which is fine, 'cause they needed to be done. :-) Now I'm waffling between the novel and revisions on "Endings". Hmmm...

. I'd also kinda like to eat lunch, but I'd have to go home for that, which would mean that I'd basically stop work for the day. I really have to plan ahead better -- I *knew* that I might be working on campus this afternoon. *sigh* Idjit.

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Hey, everyone. I’m…

Hey, everyone. I'm having a good day so far. Went to a pleasant seminar on Shakespeare's Hamlet (the ghost scene -- my professor is contending that Hamlet's father wasn't in fact murdered :-), and had a good class on Ben Jonson. Am now looking at the schedule for Spring and trying to decide what I want to take. I think a Shakespeare and a writing course, but a) I'm not sure if I want to do fiction or poetry, b) I'm not sure if I want to stick with the same fiction teacher I had this semester or try a different one, if I do fiction, c) I'm not sure what to take for my third course, and d) I'm not sure if I want to go to the hassle of taking a class up at Berkeley. Would be a big nuisance transportation-wise, but might be worth it, since the credits transfer. Might wait 'til next year, but I can only do it next semester and the fall one the year after. Will think about it some more.

I'm also quite enjoying Hyperion, a sf book Kevin loaned me (and yes, Paul, I finally admit you were right), though I do have a big problem with the structural set-up of the book. See, it's organized modelled on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a progress of pilgrims who tell their tales to each other during the course of the pilgrimage. Well and good, and I admit that in many places Simmons is brilliant both within the tales and in the framing story. However, the tales are just too darn long to be believable. They're too in-depth to make any structural sense as the sort of thing people would/could tell over a few hours after dinner. If you ignore that little quibble though, the book is delightful. I should be finishing it this afternoon.

It's a lovely day outside, and I must admit that I am very tempted to take the rest of the day off. Just go home and flake out for a while. Maybe watch The Princess Bride again or some such. :-)

HAve a good day, y'all. Get some sunshine. Hug a tree. :-)

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Hey everyone. Wrote 8…

Hey everyone. Wrote 8 pages -- it'll have to do. It's only a rough draft due today -- the final is 15-20. God, my brain is fried. Well, mostly I'm just exhausted -- yesterday I got up at 6 a.m. and was basically working straight through until I got home at 9:30 p.m. I had forgotten that students do this (at least if they're the procrastinating kind :-). I was so wound up that I couldn't go to sleep then -- stayed up reading a dumb romance novel to turn my brain off (Catherine Coulter's The Duke, if you're interested :-). Worked beautifully -- I swear my brain had turned to fuzz by the time I finished after midnight. Then woke up at 7 this morning, tried to play a little Warcraft, and it turns out my CD ROM drive is now also jammed or something. Argh. Motivation to go get the darn disk drive fixed too. I invoiced Puritan today -- let's hope they pay me soon.

Lessee, what's been happening in my life that I haven't had a chance to tell you about...well, it's painfully cold here today. Not like Chicago, of course, but I wore five layers walking in to campus this morning. Didn't sleep very well 'cause I hadn't put enough blankets on the bed. (Y'know how it is when you're half asleep and cold, but you don't want to wake enough to actually get out of bed (where you know you'll be colder) and get more blankets so that you'll then be warm enough...so you just semi-sleep and suffer?)

On the plus side, I got a letter from Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges telling me that Mills had nominated me (1 of 12 chosen, out of 300 grad students :-) to be in the listing. Pretty neat -- I like honors that I don't have to do anything for. I'm not sure why they picked me, since at this point they barely know me. David and Sherman both think it's 'cause of the upcoming book -- I dunno. Who's Who at this stage is really supposed to be a sort of 'who's to watch' kind of thing -- the idea being that they think we're the people who will be making a splash in the world in upcoming years. Hope so. :-) Ah well, kind of silly.

Also finally did the search and replace in the web pages for the old address to the new. I think it went fine. We can hope, anyway.

I'm way behind on mail and such, plus I have a pile of revisions to do. I'd best get to it -- talk to y'all later...

--1:45. Ick. I feel awful. Tired and grouchy and both my professors (I think) think I should be further along at this point in the semester and they're certainly right (guess I was just hoping they wouldn't notice 'til I had time to catch up). And I misplaced the book I was reading (Lisa Goldstein's The Red Magician - excellent so far). grumblesnarl. I so totally do not want to be stuck on campus until my 6 p.m. meeting, though it'll probably be good for me, 'cause I'll have nothing to do but work. (and whine here :-) Okay, enough complaining. Back to it. Revisions today, I think.

5:00 - Okay, no revisions done, but I feel better. I had some lunch after that last posting -- I think I was partly just low on food and that made me grouchy. I did go through a hell of a lot of mail and have cut my waiting mail list down to 37 messages (from around a 100). :-) Hooray for me. I also managed to download a copy of tinyfugue from the net (okay, that doesn't sound so impressive, but it was a little triumph for me :-).

Sorry for all the grouching earlier. Now I just have an hour to kill until this meeting, and hopefully it won't be too bad. We'll see.

6:08 - argh! ARGH! Did you hear that? Okay, my boss is now 8 minutes late, only half of the meeting people are hear, none of us are sure if she's even coming, and I for one am just a little bit irritated. Maybe she's just late. Maybe. If she doesn't come soon I am going to go home *and* be pretty damn pissed. On the good side, I'm down to 30 messages.

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Happy November,…

Happy November, everyone! :-) It's an absolutely gorgeous crisp fall day here, and there's actually a little color in the trees (not like New England, of course, but what can you do?) I'm in a much better mood than yesterday (partly 'cause I just had a very very pleasant early music ensemble class (I play flute, did I mention? We'll be giving a concert December 6th -- if you're in the area, you're welcome -- I think it's at noon. Mail me for details)), though I definitely don't feel like doing any real work. :-)

Last night I went to a very mellow Halloween shindig with Sherman at his friend Lydia's. She's way cool, and has two of the best behaved kids (Kira and Kaylie) that I've met in quite a while. Kira was a dragon and Kaylie was a princess, and I gotta say, the roles suited 'em both perfectly. Lydia is a costumer by profession (she does amazing leatherwork), and their costumes were gorgeous. Me, I did my standard gypsy bard thing -- pennywhistle, dagger and all. Sherman was an Elizabethan gentleman, complete with impossibly ruffled shirt -- he needs a monocle. :-)

Hmm...I think what I'll do today is futz around on these pages some more. If Kevin mails me the instructions again (I lost his first set), I need to do a search and replace through the web pages for my old address. University of Chicago has decided to delete alumni accounts, effective November 15th. Bad University. No biscuit. (Loss of lots of alumni money, more likley -- a dumb decision on their part, I think). So I'm switching it all to my Mills account, as noted in previous day's entry.

Tonight Lydia is coming up for dinner with me and Sherman, which should be fun. I think I'll make Thai green curry tofu (gosh, I can't remember if I gave you this recipe already. It's on the label of the little jars of Thai green curry paste though -- astonishingly easy. Basically mix and serve), and do something vaguely Indian with my leftover cooked chicken. I got rid of most of it yesterday with one of my own creations -- Sherman says I should name it after myself, so here's:

Chicken Pepper Crepes Mary Anne
_______________________________

(note, very approximate amounts 'cause this is a 'use up your leftovers' recipe).

Chicken Filling:
1-2 c. cooked chicken, finely diced
1-2 red or yellow peppers, finely diced (mushrooms work instead too)
1 medium onion
6 cloves garlic
random herbs (I used some oregano, basil, sage and thyme, but you might substitute in majoram or tarragon or Sherman thinks dill, but I think he's nuts).
salt and pepper to taste

crepes (to be made right after or just before chicken filling)

1/2 - 1 c. shredded cheese (I mixed mozarella and cheddar)

1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil 'til golden. Add rest of filling ingredients. Cook 10 minutes or so, 'til it seems cooked. :-)

2. Put one or two spoonfuls inside each crepe and roll the crepes up. Line up crepes in a glass baking dish (actually, I'm sure metal would work too, but glass is prettier).

3. Sprinkle cheese over whole and bake in preheated 350 degree F oven 20 minutes or so ('til cheese is nicely melted). Serve hot!

I think I'm going to go now and add some more old poems to 92 and 93. There were a bunch I didn't put in at the beginning 'cause I was getting tired. :-)

2:30 - Added 18 poems to the 92 section. Enjoy. :-) (I feel I should warn you, it seems (looking over them) that I was in a pretty angry mood for much of that year.

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Happy Halloween,…

Happy Halloween, everyone! Spent much of the last several hours dealing with mail change stuff -- Chicago is shutting down alumni accounts, so all mail for me should be sent to mohanraj@ella.mills.edu. For the next two years, at any rate.

I'm tired and frustrated and I haven't had lunch, so I'm gonna go take care of that. Talk to y'all tomorrow.

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Morning, everyone….

Morning, everyone. Getting a bit of a late start today, as I stayed up late talking to Kevin. My phone bill is going to be appalling - somehow five hours went by without my even noticing. And half that time we spent discussing effective teaching modalities in calculus...::-) Oh well.

Thank y'all for confirming that the sound files survived the transfer. I know they're awfully soft -- I'm going to futz around with input volumes today (if I can find 'em :-). Don't think I've come up with anything fancy to help with size, though a couple people kind of vaguely mentioned compression.

So I took the little web authoring job for Mills -- it's just six hours/week, whenever I feel like working them. Don't know if it's a good idea at that pay scale, but we'll try it and see how it goes.

My room is a pit. Gotta clean it up. Otherwise today, I'm supposed to write another chapter of the novella, and possibly something substantial for the novel. We'll see. I'm feeling kinda sluggish from the cold (the house was freezing when I woke up - heating slowly) and tired from being a little short on sleep. It may be laundry time again too.

I'm rather dreading tonight. We're having housemate problems, only tangentially related to me, but I need to be at the meeting we're having tonight, and it'll probably be somewhat unpleasant. I hate, really hate, confrontation. Avoiding the problem has always worked better for me. :-)

Okay, off to deal with an appalling amount of backed-up mail.

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Hey y’all. Didn’t think…

Hey y'all. Didn't think you'd hear from me today, did you? Well, my workload got lifted a little (moved, actually -- professor moved a deadline to later), so this week isn't quite as frantic as I'd expected.

Meeting tonight at 6 to find out about a job helping to author the Mills pages. It pays diddly over squat ($5.75/hr -- I haven't made that little in the last 6-7 years), but it probably wouldn't be that hard, and might be a nice web authoring credit to my name, and I could use a little extra cash. Have to think about whether I really want to commit to 6-8 hours/week of doing this. Maybe maybe. A nice small regular income wouldn't hurt.

Okay, so today I'm playing with sound. I'm in a fairly private room at Mills, and am going to try reading some of my poems out and then put them on here so people can hear my voice. Comments? Anything else you'd like to hear? I'd like to keep it short, so I won't do any of the long stories. Maybe a journal entry? I can't remember what the HTML book I read said about formats -- the program automatically saves in AIFF, but I'm not sure that's the best format to put them up in.

Okay, I'm gonna get kinda techie here. Feel free to skip. So I used Soundhack to record my speaking a four-line poem (not one of mine). Saved at a 22050 sample rate, a 16-bit linear sample size, and stereo. Ended up 1.6 meg, which is huge, as far as I'm concerned. Am I doing something wrong? It's taking forever (22 minutes) to Fetch over into my account -- surely I don't need the files to be this large? I can't tell yet whether it's going to take an unreasonable amount of time to download. All of my pictures together only take up 1.8 meg. This is silly. I'm going to try recording it at a smaller sample size -- don't know if I'll still get reasonable sound quality.

Hmmm....looks okay (I mean, sounds okay) from here. Recorded at 11025, mono instead of stereo, still 16 bits (8 bits gives me nasty feedback), down to .3 megs. When the large one finishes transferring, I'll Fetch this one, then put them both up here so y'all can hear them and let me know how it works.

T'ang Poem - 1.6 meg.
T'ang Poem 2 - .3 meg

Argh. Can't hear those. Apparently Netscape doesn't read .aiff format. Have converted second to .au and am uploading now.

T'ang Poem 3 - .3 meg, .au format

Double argh. Still can't hear anything. Don't know what I'm doing wrong. Any inspiration gratefully accepted. I'm going to give up for now and try and get some work done.

4:15. Managed to write another 1K of the novella. I think I'm only going to do 2K more and call it quits. Turns out the darn sound files do work -- they're just appallingly slow. At least the .au files work -- I'm not sure about the .aiff, as I'm pretty sure Netscape can't read 'em.

5:17. Oh, and they're really soft. Going to see what needs to be done to fix that.

5:44. Cropped and interlaced the main photo of me. Can you tell I'm avoiding work? I hate that it's dark already. Hope I can get a ride home from this dumb meeting. Appear to have messed something up, so I've gone back to old photo. Weird.

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