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Archive for July 2014

Bake off!

July 30th, 2014 — 5:21pm

Series 5 of The Great British Bake Off starts in just one week, on Wednesday August 6th, and I am BEYOND excited!

It’s the most civilized, sweetest, most charming, most delightful competition show ever created. Everyone is so nice to everyone else and I never want anyone to leave but of course _someone_ has to go home every week. Sigh. That’s the worst part.

Oh, Paul and Mary and Mel and Sue and all the bakers, I’ll be seeing you soon. On your marks, get set, BAKE!

If, like me, you don’t live in the UK you’ll have to figure out some clever way to watch. It can be done if you’re resourceful…

(Hey BBC, pleasepleaseplease allow me to pay a subscription so I can watch your lovely intelligent programming more easily!)

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July 29th, 2014 — 9:20pm

A friend texted me today and asked if I wanted to go to the beach with him. Heck yes! (Even though the beach is really not my thing… all that sun and sand and heat and stuff. It’s not a very Kara-friendly environment. But it just sounded like fun.)

We took a little tent with us (his idea) which was an absolutely brilliant plan and one which made the whole beach thing so much more pleasant.


We played in the water for a while and it was just lovely. I haven’t been to the beach in years. In my memory the ocean here is almost always freezing, even in summer, but today the water was quite comfortable. Not exactly warm, mind you, but not freezing, and we got used to it quickly and then it didn’t feel cold anymore, just refreshing.

I got tired fairly quickly (the beach is no place for an oxygen concentrator) and all-of-a-sudden, the way I do, and retired to our shady little tent. It was so nice having a place to keep my backpack and book and glasses quite safely while I was in the water, and then absolutely wonderful to have a shelter where I could lie down and rest and read out of the wind and sun.

I put on tons and tons of sunscreen (twice) and managed to escape with only minor burning. It hurts, and I’m covered in aloe vera gel tonight, but it could have been so much worse.

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July 26th, 2014 — 6:00pm

I saw Richard Linklater’s new movie, “Boyhood” today. Wow. It’s a quiet, tender little movie that follows the life of a boy, Mason, from childhood to college. It was filmed in bits and pieces over twelve real-life years (with the same cast the whole time) so Mason grows and changes on film, as does his family. It’s a brilliant filmmaking technique and so beautifully done.

There are just a few clunky moments (Mason’s mom’s meltdown as he leaves for college, for one), but there are far, far more moments of utter perfection. A few that spring to mind are: showing off treasured possessions to back-in-town dad; the midnight Harry Potter book release (Henry and I attended the midnight release party for the final book so that really resonated); the hilarious “use protection” scene (Mason’s sister’s embarrassment is truly palpable); the father-son camping trip; the “woken up by sister’s roommate” scene.

On the whole it’s a real treasure. Go see it.

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home home home

July 21st, 2014 — 10:27pm

Had a lovely visit with my sister and her family, and now I am home. Traveling is _so exhausting_. But it was worth it to spend time with my dear little niece. She’s 13 months old and quite a character.

Since she is so interested in everyone’s iPhone (she loves to tap and swipe) I went looking for baby-friendly iOS software and found a game that’s just perfect for her: The Playmatic. Free, no ads, no banners, no pop-ups — just three sweet, simple little games. Fun things happen when you poke the screen! Little Niece caught on right away and, by the time my visit was over, she seemed to be enjoying the hardest game the most — the hot-air balloon game. The bubble game and the music game were also very popular. :)

I’m re-reading “The Hills at Home”. Such a great book.

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brand new key

July 12th, 2014 — 3:39pm

I’ve been learning Melanie Safka’s adorable “Brand New Key” on my ukulele. I still suck, pretty much, and my uke technique is poor and I’m not a trained singer and I keep forgetting to breathe, but here’s a tolerable (if low-quality) recording that I think is kind of sweet. Sorry about the traffic and video-game noises in the background.

Brand New Key

Fun fact: my voice is considerably lower than Melanie’s so I had to transpose the song down a fifth, into a BRAND NEW KEY, if you will. Musician joke. Groan.

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Return of the King, Bk1 Ch2

July 11th, 2014 — 12:00pm

In which we find out what’s up with Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Merry, and Eowyn.

Sorry, I mispronounced “Elrohir” a couple of times before I noticed the “r”.

Return of the King Bk 1: 02 The Passing of the Grey Company


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