Thursday, November 30, 2006

As I was walking through Harvard Yard after work today, I found myself thinking about how, at first glance, the main difference between the students at Harvard and those at UW-Madison is the color of their shirts. It's kind of funny to me how many students wear t-shirts and sweatshirts with their school name plastered on the front. No one really wore school-themed clothing at Eastman or NEC that I can remember -- at least not with any regularity. At UW-Madison we used to call the red clothing with "WISCONSIN" in white letters across the front (or the butt) "the uniform" (Didn't we?). Harvard's colors are maroon and white and I haven't yet seen anyone with "HARVARD" across their butt(s) (!!), but there are still plenty of "uniforms". Ok, so there are some other huge differences... like that in Wisconsin there are more fair, blond people than I have ever seen before in my life. And, students at Harvard seem to dress nicer than people at UW, but that is really just a general difference between people in Madison and people in Boston (and yes, probably has something to do with money). I mean, there are obviously lots of other differences between the schools, the students, the campuses, etc., but anyway...

So, I'm in my first week of work at the Lamont Library at Harvard, which is a library just for undergraduates. It's a *very* nice facility, just as everything at Harvard is. Right now, since I don't yet have an ID or computer access, I'm doing mostly trivial stuff, like shredding, but I've also learned how to process books for the "New Book Shelf", which is pretty fun. Also, it's only part-time, so I'm still looking for more work. I need a big kick in the butt to get going on the music part of things. I don't know why I'm dragging my feet so much. I'll actually be flying to Cleveland next week to sing on a concert for a friend there, so hopefully that will help!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well, today wasn't that great of a day, but it wasn't awful either. I took a different route to work this morning and got lost, but it didn't take me much time to right myself and I was still 10 minutes early. This afternoon I got pulled over for (just barely) running a red light. I was SO worried about getting a ticket, because I REALLY can't afford any additional expenses at the moment, but the cop let me off with a warning. Whew! And when I got home I discovered that my computer, which has been very uncooperative lately, has yet another problem. I can't use MS Word at all now! So, I was going to submit resumes in pursuit of a second part-time job, but now I'm unable to do that. And, I was going to download some pictures for this blog entry, but the computer is telling me there is no room to store anything (even though I trashed both Photoshop and Finale earlier -- they were old versions that only ran in the old OS anyway). So, luckily I am still able to use email here, but this laptop is on its last legs. Over Thanksgiving I had two wonderful guys offer to stand out in the cold for 3 hours at 4:00am to buy me a laptop at a greatly reduced price from a computer outlet center (which happens to have stores in Denver and Cambridge). I told them both I couldn't let them do it because to me having a computer isn't worth so much suffering. I am such an idiot.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My friend, Dave, from college just sent a link to a Wikimmunity story he's working on about his hometown. I enjoyed reading it, so thought I'd share it with you:

Dave's story about Granville

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Last night I got together with my best friend, Lara, her mom, brother Andy, and husband Jeff at the Skyline Grill in Syracuse for a little karaoke.

(Here's Lara and her mom (Anita) singing a lovely duet)

Afterwards (at around 3am!!) we went out to Denny's because we were HUNGRY from all the singing!

(Anita and Jeff)

(Andy and Lara)

Jeff made a t-shirt for the waitress (who was definitely on speed).

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hello, friends!
Have you been wondering what to do with all that darn cat hair that accumulates in little dust balls in all the corners of your house? Well, I have a solution for you!! Click here to find out how to make felt from cat hair!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In case I haven't told you about it already, this is the delicious dish my mom and I have made for Thanksgiving every year for the last 5 years or so. I am SO looking forward to it!

Cheese, Rice and Vegetable Strudel
Based on a traditional Russian dish called "Koulibiac", this makes a perfect vegetarian main course.

Serves 8

7/8 cup long grain rice
2 tbsp butter
1-2 leeks thinly sliced
8 oz Gruyère (or cheddar) cheese, grated
8 oz feta cheese, cubed
2 tbsp raisins
1/2 cup chopped almonds or hazelnuts, toasted
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
10 oz package frozen filo pastry, thawed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the rice in boiling, salted water for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain, rinse under cold running water and set aside. Melt the butter and cook the leeks and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

2. Add the well-drained rice, the cheeses, raisins, toasted nuts, parsley and season to taste (be careful with the salt as the feta cheese is very salty).

3. Preheat the oven to 375F. Unwrap the filo pastry. Cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and a damp clot while you work. Lay a sheet of filo pastry on a large piece of wax paper and brush it with oil. Lay a second sheet, overlapping the first by 1 in. Put another sheet with its long side running at right angles to the long sides ofthe first two. Lay a fourth sheet in the same way overlapping by 1 in. Continue in this way, alternating the layers of the two sheets so that the join between the two sheets runs in the opposite direction for each layer.

4. Place the filling along the center of the pastry and shape it neatly with your hands into a rectangle approximately 4 x 12 in

5. Fold the pastry over the filing and roll it over, with the help of the wax paper, so that the join is hidden underneath.

6. Lift the strudel on to a greased baking sheet and tuck the edges under, so that the filing does not escape during cooking. Brush with oil and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let the strudel stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I have a lot of work to do, but...

First thing's first...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I decided to change the songs on my MySpace site, as the same ones have been on there for a couple of months now. So, I hope you don't mind, Susan, but I decided to upload four of the "Ariettes oubliées" (Debussy) from our french recital last December. You can click here to listen. I never get tired of listening to these pieces; the beauty of this exquisite marriage of poem and song never fails to touch me. It's very hard to believe this was less than a year ago!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

I'm at home and I'm connected to the internet!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I am SO hungry right now. You know what sounds good? Jerusalem Garden. I wonder if I can get a falafel pita around these parts. Hmmm...
When I moved in with my mom earlier this year, I noticed that she always insisted on buying organic fruits and vegetables, but didn't buy organic dairy products. I pointed out to her that if she was concerned about the effects of pesticides, etc. she ought to be more concerned with animal products than plant products, as animal products take much longer for the body to process and thus spend longer in the system. In my opinion, if a person is concerned about the purity of one's food, the first product to be concerned with is meat, then dairy products, then plant products. As I don't eat meat myself, I don't find myself concerned with eating organic in that department, but I am concerned with dairy. As far as milk is concerned, I have come to the conclusion that above all things, I want to buy milk that comes from cows that have not been treated with Recombinant bovine growth hormone. I am not so much concerned that it is organic, although perhaps I should be. I am certainly not going to buy Horizon products, which are seriously questionable in their organic-ness. Have you noticed that Horizon has totally changed their packaging so that the word "Horizon" doesn't appear on the front anymore, perhaps due to bad press. Now the packages are innocuously pastel. You'd never guess from the picture on the front that the milk comes from a factory farm! Sadly, organic cheese and ice cream are much harder to find. My basic rule of thumb is to buy imported cheese, as RBGH has been banned by the EU. But when will the consumers who wised up enough to get the dairy industry to cut back its use of RBGH in milk realize that it is in other dairy products as well -- duh! The main thing that keeps me from consuming dairy products with RBGH is an image I can't get out of my head of a cow with mastitis, which is a condition cows treated with RBGH are more susceptible to. Gross! Your thoughts? (ps... i'm at work, so if this makes no sense it's because i wasn't able to proofread it well enough in my haste.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I tried to take pictures of the dog, but he just won't stand still!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Just for fun (and as a distraction from the work I'm supposed to be doing), I thought I would make a list of my favorite places in certain categories in all the places I have lived. Hmmm...

Grocery store: Wegmans
Indian restaurant: Sahota Palace (Liverpool)
Coffee shop: Recess
Pub: Coleman's
Used book shop: Books End
Hall to sing in: May Memorial Unitarian Church
Place to run: I never really found one...
Place to walk: Green Lakes State Park

Grocery store: Wegmans (although the co-op is awesome there)
Indian restaurant: India House, I guess...
Coffee shop: Java's
Pub: The Old Toad
Used book shop: Brownbag Books
Hall to sing in: Kilbourn Hall
Place to run: Erie Canal in Pittsford
Place to walk: East Avenue

Grocery store: Trader Joe's
Indian restaurant: Kebab Factory
Coffee shop: Torrefazione, although there's probably somewhere better in the north end
Pub: Sunset Grill & Tap
Used book shop: Raven Books in Harvard Square
Hall to sing in: Jordan Hall
Place to run: Reservoir in Brookline
Place to walk: everywhere

Grocery store: Woodman's
Indian restaurant: I don't know the names of any of them... the one on Park St. was pretty good...
Coffee shop: Room of One's Own or Espresso Royale
Pub: that place on Regent St. with the pizza? or the Grumpy Troll!
Used book shop: Paul's
Hall to sing in: NOT La Maison Francaise! Morphy, I guess.
Place to run: Bike path by Willy St.
Place to walk: Path by the lake, you know, the lake... (um... the one by HC White)

Ok, I'd better get back to work...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Susan's blog just made me laugh for its picture of two composers in an *interesting* tableau.
Thank God he didn't poop ON any of my things.

So, I'm still not used to living with a dog. I haven't lived with a dog since I was in high school, so I'm just not yet accustomed to the concept that any food lying anywhere is going to be eaten the moment I turn my back. Suzie, my family's dalmation, who was alive from when I was age 5 to 16, used to eat everything -- loaves of bread, plates of dinner sitting on the dining room table, books (which provoked much anger in my father), etc... But for the last 10 years, I have been accustomed to two kitty cats, whose annoying habits include: Jezebel - knocking over full glasses of water, eating plants, and generally being a dominatrix, and Vana - ripping the corners of magazines and newspapers and indecision about which room she wants to be in. Imagine my chagrin this morning when I found the contents of my purse, which I had left at the top of the stairway, strewn along the stairs and the empty wrapper from the Ritter Sport Hazelnut Chocolate bar I bought at Trader Joe's yesterday at the bottom of the stairs surrounded by dog poo -- 3 piles in all -- one large, two small. I had to clean it up, even though I was yet again running late, because the poo was right in front of the door. Ewwww! Dog poo indoors is the worst! The smell is unbearable! It's bad enough outside! Now I'm not saying cat poo isn't gross, but it's much smaller and less smelly, and generally it's dry by the time you scoop it up. (It's the pee that really stinks!) So, Suze, how about baby poo? You said it smells pretty bad, but is it as bad as dog poo??

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In case you haven't caught up with Le Meg lately, I highly recommend today's entry, which includes a very *interesting* photo.
So... what is a good pain reliever that doesn't hurt the stomach? I have relied on Ibuprofen for years and now am finding that it is making my stomach hurt. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This is a sign I walk past every day on my way to work. : )

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Since I miss my kitties terribly, I thought I would reprise these pictures of Vana and Jezebel. I won't see them until Thanksgiving.
: ( Isn't that sad? Hopefully it won't be too much longer until I can bring them here.

Friday, November 03, 2006

So I still don't have internet access at home. The wireless card I ordered came in the mail yesterday, but my computer is not recognizing it properly and it seems it may not be Mac compatible after all. I vowed a few years ago that I would never have another credit card again, but I'm starting to think about it again... Otherwise, I suppose I could get a second job. Maybe I could start waitressing a few nights a week. Hmmmm... Money... Need more... Need new computer...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ok, so I've finally pinpointed exactly what it is that drives me nuts about working at Dana-Farber. There is NEVER any music playing anywhere! It is TOTALLY silent here, but for people's voices and the sound of machines and forced air. Do I have the courage to put on some music and see what happens? Music has always been the redeeming aspect to any secretarial position I've held. Even the most mundane tasks can become so much fun when I am distracted by music. What ever shall I do?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Today I've decided to think about that age-old question, "What would I want to do for a living if I didn't have to worry about money?" I'll let you know what I come up with...