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On Thursday, a cold front from Siberia swept into Spain. It’s not as bad here as in Eastern Europe, not by a longshot (and it's still warmer here than in Vermont), but it’s been colder and the wind is just howling. It was particularly upsetting to see some beggars in bare feet. (I still can’t get the image of one old lady out of my head – she was at a minimum in her late 70s, sitting on a cold sidewalk with her legs and feet bare. There was nothing I could do – I couldn’t communicate with her or the police. There was a young woman talking to her as we walked by, so I hope something was done for her.)

Pictures and more! )

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Thoughts on Spanish and English, and visits to two museums.

Read more…and see pictures! )

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Books: After reading "The Sleeping Beauty Proposal" (and then writing this review of it in the Times Argus), I decided to read all of Sarah Strohmeyer’s books. She’s a local author who writes chick lit. I’ve never read chick lit before, but decided to make an exception since she’s local, (and a really good interview). I had read the first two Bubbles books before writing the review, and last week tackled the remaining four. They are mysteries, the sleuth is a hair dresser/journalist/floozy named Bubbles Yablonsky. Then I read her "The Cinderella Pact." All good fun – good books if you want to do anything but challenge your mind.

On Sunday, after dropping Rich off at the airport in the pouring rain, I went to Barnes & Noble, found "Sacrifice," curled up in a chair and read the entire book at the bookstore (OK, skimmed or skipped all the Fett/Mandalorian stuff and some of the politics). Came home and finally read the endless emails on the “big event” on the CJ list. It’s nice to finally be au courant.

I’ll avoid spoilers, and just say I thought the book was well-done and tastefully written, and I was much less upset than I thought I would be.

Oh -- I've successfully re-read all the Harry Potter books.

Speaking of HP:  I MUST stop reading Harry Potter stuff. I’ve been trying very hard to avoid everything, but then something will catch my eye – in the newspaper or on the wires – and I’ll read it. And then feel like hitting myself, like Dobby. Like I just read in the NY Times what Rowling said about the book’s last word. I didn’t need to know that. I do not want to be spoiled for this book. I want to get it at 12:01 and then hibernate (with friends) in my house and read, read, read.

Today I went shopping with my friend Abby, again in the pouring rain. Bought stuff I didn’t need -- mainly shoes. Had fun.

Last week I had a dexoscan, which is an X-ray of the spine and hip bones. Unfortunately – although not surprisingly – the doctor’s office called to tell me I have had some bone density loss. I’m seeing the doctor tomorrow, and so will learn more.

This is scary. For the last five years, I’ve been trying hard to eat calcium, started lift weights, stopped swimming and instead walk/run. Other than eating more calcium, I’m not sure what else I can do. I don’t know how bad it is; I assume I will learn all about the various drugs I could start taking. I started reading about osteoporosis online, and stopped when I saw the statistic that 50% of women over 50 have a bone break because of osteoporosis. It was just too darn depressing. (On the positive side, all my other annual tests showed nothing wrong.)

Movies: We’ve joined the rest of the civilized world and now have Netflix. In the last few weeks I’ve seen Citizen Kane, About a Boy, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and others I can’t think of. Even after watching Citizen Kane with two different commentary tracks, I’m still not sure I get why it’s the best movie ever.

Fourth of July: I had to work, so no parade or fireworks.

Articles: Caroline had this front-page feature on Saturday, and this one on "Geek Week" a couple weeks ago.

Life really is dull. The big excitement a couple Saturdays ago was helping Caroline pick courses. The new online Brown course selection process is like Amazon, where you browse the courses and put the ones you like in your shopping cart. Instead of prices, it creates a cool graphic that shows you when each class meets. Caroline had said she had signed up for too many, which I thought meant 10. Nope, she really meant too many – she must have had 50 in there. We first suggested she eliminate any classes meeting before 10 a.m. and anything meeting after 3 p.m. on Friday. That eliminated a few. Then she got rid of ones needing prerequisites and the upper level graduate courses. She zeroed in on two courses (one was a prereq for about five other classes she wants to take and the other the prereq for Environmental Studies), and will figure out the rest of her schedule when she learns which freshmen seminar she gets. It was fun browsing all the classes I'll never take. The bill came today ... gulp.


Jun. 22nd, 2006 04:14 pm
slyvermont: (fieldofdreams)
I'm back from Jackson Hole, the house is still in one piece (good job [profile] kataline), the cat is alive, the car seems OK.

We left very early (4:30 a.m.) on Saturday, and took 3 planes and 9 hours to get there. But we arrived early enough that after we got our rental car we headed directly to Grand Teton National Park.

The Jackson Hole airport has one of the most beautiful natural settings of any airport I've seen. The Tetons loom in the background – the approach takes you right alongside them – just gorgeous.

In three days I did three rigorous, long hikes. I love my hiking boots, because after all that intensive hiking, I had no blisters and my feet didn’t hurt that much. There was still plenty of snow on the mountain tops, and the white snow, vivid blue sky and green trees made a wonderful color palette. On one day, I hiked by myself, for the first time ever. Encountered some wildlife, including a moose and a deer.

The town of Jackson is – as to be expected – touristy. In a dramatic setting, though. Our hotel was incredibly tacky (log cabins). Foodwise – I ate elk one night, a mistake I will hopefully remember never to repeat again. I did a fair amount of shopping – I tried on about 15 dozen cowboy hats. That is the main tourist merchandise item in town – they come in many shapes and sizes and colors and materials. At first I thought it would be fun to buy one, but I decided that a straw cowboy hat is tacky and the felt/leather ones are too expensive – especially considering that I would probably never wear it again. I enjoyed trying them on, though.

My find of the trip was a pair of red cowboy boots. I fell in love. They are gorgeous. And incredibly comfortable.

On Tuesday afternoon, as part of the conference offerings, I joined Rich and other utility regulators for a scenic raft ride on the Snake River. We saw two bald eagles, including a nest. (For my wanton friends – our raft guide was simply gorgeous. And one of the funnier moments was when all the women decided we needed to overturn the raft, call for emergency personnel and hope that Harrison Ford came to rescue us.)

Unfortunately, the closest I got to seeing Harrison was on the plane ride home, when he was in the movie on the airplane (Firewall).

Perhaps I’ll post photos later.
slyvermont: (Default)
We got back late last night from another college visit trip – Brown, Barnard, Fordham and Sarah Lawrence.

Caroline was on her own at the first two, so Rich and I wandered around both Providence and NYC. We did sit in on an information session at Brown, and we were astonished and overwhelmed – there were at least 400 people crammed into the second floor of Manning Chapel, which should really seat 230 or so. It was a fire hazard – the aisles were packed with people. It was really zoo-like.

On Tuesday, Rich and I spent the day walking the length of Manhattan – starting at West 71st St, we walked across the park to the Met (and decided it was too nice a day to spend in a museum), down Fifth Ave., then over to Sixth Ave., then all the way down to City Hall. We made many stops along the way, and bought a few odds and ends. We ate dinner at a Chinese place, and then saw a movie called Friends with Money – it was OK.

Wednesday was Fordham and Sarah Lawrence, where we joined Caroline in taking the tours. I had never been to either campus, even though I’ve been aware of both schools since I was growing up, so I enjoyed seeing both of them. They are practically polar opposites, which was also interesting.

On the way home we stopped at a mall and raided H&M. As Caroline said, it might be a good thing that there is no H&M in Vermont.
slyvermont: (Tonks)
I love a good deal.

I went shopping with my friend Abby today, and found these boots on sale, in my size, in a taupe color. Including the 15% off coupon Abby happened to have on her, I paid just $33! They were orginally $148, and even more online.

So now I have  boots that are kinda cowboyish. They aren't red, which I really wanted. But I got them so cheap that if I ever see a nice pair of red cowboy boots, I can buy them too.

I also went to the eye doctor and got a new pair of eyeglasses that are totally different from anything I've ever worn before. So, a successful day, even if it was pouring rain and yucky out.


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March 2012

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