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Thursday, September 30, 2004  
Desk update

Just a note to say that my desk is starting to look like it belongs. The new lamp is excellent. The monkey lamp now has the company of the monkey bowl, which really classes up the place.

My replacement copy of Portraits 9/11/01 (The Collected Portraits of Grief from The New York Times) arrived and after looking through it I found that one of the desk cubbies is perfectly sized to hold it. I missed my original copy and debated getting a replacement and then debated whether to seek a first edition like I'd had or to get a more complete second edition. I went with the latter. As one friend, also seeking a copy, said, "The least we can do is remember their names."

Along those lines, a few weeks ago my quilt "911" returned from its travels with the America From the Heart exhibit. I opened the box and saw the carefully packaged quilt inside. There was a list of all the places it had been, copies of press materials regarding the exhibit, a label to put on the quilt noting its participation and travels. It was surprizingly hard to remove the quilt from the box. I pulled it out and peeked at an edge and put it back. Finally I pulled it out and unrolled it quickly, to get past that first shock of seeing this quilt again. I had only seen it twice since the middle of October 2001.

The colors and brightness really surprised me. The bright colors were really bright. The greyed right side was really strong. the center really expressed the change I felt. I looked it over quickly and had such waves of feelings that I just couldn't look at it for very long so I repackaged it and put it back in the box. I still can't quite decide what I was feeling; it was a whole mix.

Written at: 9/30/2004 11:21:00 PM

Hard work? How hard is it?

I told Barb tonight that I was going to watch the debate with a dull knife nearby - the better to take my mind off the pain of watching. Holy moly.

I realize that both of them are taking brief notes while their opponent is talking. Bush, though, was flipping his over and over with a slightly panicked look on his face. I would love to see that sheet of paper up close. Looked like a lot of crib notes with lots and lots of "must not forget this" things. Small sections, lots of notes. He keeps referring to the notes

Three quarters of the way through and I can say that only Kerry is able to string whole sentences together and deliver them in such a way that you can follow the entire thought start to finish.

One more thing: I think that every "extra" thirty seconds called for was brought on by Bush. At one point, he sputtered, he was acknowledged and given thirty seconds and then stared at the camera trying to figure out what to say.

I think I'm supposed to be impressed because he keeps telling me that "it's hard work."

I'm Mary Beth, and I not only approved this message, but I wrote it and posted it to my BLOG wirelessly from my sewing room. Take that!

Written at: 9/30/2004 09:41:00 PM

Saturday, September 25, 2004  
Fortune is much more particular about flours and ratios and kneading times when she makes her weekly pizza. This I cannot deny and I have no doubt that her pizza is a joy to behold and to eat.

Myself, I am besotted by my new cuisinart and not having made very extensive plans on what to eat tonight I decided I'd make the recipe that came with it. I started early enough that I didn't care how long a rising time was required so I didn't worry about thawing some sauce etc. Ooops. That's not like me, not to read through an unfamiliar recipe. Guess what - NO rise time. 30 sec, 45 sec of processor time and turn out on a surface for a minimum of kneading and shape. Top and bake. Oooops. Oh and ooops again because this was for FAST pizza so they want you to pre-bake the crust, top and bake a bit more.

I went with shaping, topping and baking in a very hot oven and had to guess, I mean guage the time based on my experience.

Well, don't you know, it came out mighty fine. There has to be not much better in the world than pizza that is put directly from the oven to your plate. And kept warm in the oven while you're eating each bit. Mmmmmm. Smelled great, tasted great and was SO easy. I'm sure I'll try other recipes but for near-instant gratification, this was it.

I made enough salad for the army of co-workers the other night and it was fun trying the slicing and grating blades. I have to relearn how long to cut things for the new feed tube but oh the joy of cutting and cutting.

Having good knives is important. I can slice, dice and chop quickly and efficiently. Having a workhorse processor is great though for many many things. And apparently pizza is one of them.

Written at: 9/25/2004 10:22:00 PM

Monday, September 20, 2004  
times when words fail, the brain keeps working, but the mouth wisely remains shut

Someone told me today he would only buy a Kodak camera. OK, this puzzled me for a moment and in that split second, he provided the answer, "because they're not made by a country that bombed us."

There was a big quiet space in my head filled by the thought, "and that thing we dropped on Japan not long afterwards, that would have been a ...?"

Written at: 9/20/2004 09:38:00 PM

Sunday, September 19, 2004  
Remember the Sun?

The sun made a brief appearance yesterday afternoon. Good thing because people around here had just started paging Noah. Holy moly. It started raining - hard - Friday afternoon and continued raining - hard - until Saturday noonish. Needless to say anything that could be wet, was. The Kinderhook Creek was at a level I'd only seen once or twice before. One of those times was after a 6" August rainy spurt.

The good news in all this? Racing was cancelled at New Lebanon Valley Speedway because of water on the track. The 11 o'clock news told the tale -- 7 FEET of water on the track. hehehehe. Build a bowl and it will fill.

Thankfully the power did not go out, the pump and dehumidifier kept running and there was only a minimum of water seepage.

It was a good day for some homemade soup. The Soup Lady will be glad to hear that I made your basic beef soup - beef, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, a few potatoes and some barley. Turned out nice and tasty if I do say so myself. And since the store had very nice beef hunks at a very low price -- it was especially tasty. Always something to look for, if you're willing to cube the meat yourself.

From today's Berkshire Eagle:
The Friday-Saturday rainfall nearly equaled the average rainfall for the month of September, 3.52 inches.

Heavy rainfall earlier this month has brought the grand total to 5.74 inches, with 12 days still to be recorded.

Total rainfall measured since July 1, nearly 17.5 inches, has smashed a 65-year summer season record at the Pittsfield airport

And from the "Times-Useless":
Flash flooding forced the evacuation Saturday of more than two dozen mobile homes in Ravena as the remnants of Hurricane Ivan deluged the Northeast.

Three to 5 inches of rain pounded parts of the Albany area and south of it, according to the National Weather Service. Throughout the Capital Region, emergency workers helped people with water-logged basements and properties. No injuries had been reported Saturday evening.

Written at: 9/19/2004 10:33:00 AM

Thursday, September 16, 2004  
Not unlike a room of one's own:

a desk of one's own.

Written at: 9/16/2004 01:17:00 AM

Tuesday, September 14, 2004  
From, come words that we can all live by these days:

All the memories I'll need are on their way.

Written at: 9/14/2004 02:29:00 PM

Sunday, September 12, 2004  
And in other news:

as opposed to this.

Written at: 9/12/2004 11:33:00 PM

Some photos
of the day

Written at: 9/12/2004 01:00:00 AM

Saturday, September 11, 2004  

Written at: 9/11/2004 12:01:00 AM

Wednesday, September 08, 2004  
Views of TK

Thanks to Channeling Cupertino for bringing this ode to our attention.

Having recently found the spent remains of a tiny furry being on my livingroom rug, I can only think "Squeek! Squeek! Squeek!"

Written at: 9/08/2004 10:24:00 AM

Tuesday, September 07, 2004  
Remember me?

I'm the quilter? well, I did get the binding and sleeves attached to the one quilt and now I'm about to start doing that hand work and then start on something else, including quilting "shine." I'm doing a bunch of non-quilt-related things too, so don't think I'm lounging around eating bon bons, ok?

Written at: 9/07/2004 08:14:00 PM

Sunday, September 05, 2004  
Always on the job...

The first of a three-part article in the NYTimes reports studies showing that increasing stress levels can have a direct impact on workers' physical and mental health. Stress can come from both increasing hours and responsiblity as well as from worry about job security and crisis-driven office cultures.

"What we know about stress is that it's probably even worse than we thought," Dr. Kiecolt-Glaser said.
Certainly this is something that all of us deal with. If we're lucky enough to have a job, we worry about losing it. Hard work doesn't guarantee employment anymore. Then there's the cycle of immersing oneself so totally in work that there is little time for anything else, thereby eliminating the comfort and refreshment of family and recreation.

Myself I think this goes back to the myth that work is everything. I'm talking about employment here, not the passion that one can find in life. The idea that one's job (the thing that puts money in your pocket) should occupy one's whole being is more and more the norm. I'm sticking with my idea -- the "day" job that lets me keep everything together so I can be passionate about what I choose.

Should you enjoy your daily employment? That's certainly preferable and I think it's possible to do so no matter what the task. If you don't enjoy it, do find something else. I only mean that your job shouldn't be your life and that you should not become your job.

Short version: Get a life.

Written at: 9/05/2004 01:05:00 PM

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