Thursday, February 28, 2008

So, what's new with you?

Wow, 3 posts in one day! What some people will do to avoid doing their schoolwork!

Seriously, though, haven't filled you in for a while so thought I'd whip up a quick post.

A week and a half ago was Presidents Day Weekend when Americans celebrate the birthdays of Washington and Lincoln. Why only those 2 presidents? Or as someone in my office said, "Let's celebrate ALL the presidents' birthdays. Then we can start on the vice presidents." Well, apparently, it's still called Washington's Birthday, at least as far as the Federal government is concerned.

Anyway, we wanted to go away for the weekend - Arthur wanted to go to Northern California and I wanted to go to Los Angeles (you know me, always cold and looking for warmer places to be) but Maor vetoed both ideas. I believe her words were something like "I am NOT sitting in a car with you guys for 5 hours." She had already made plans with 2 friends to go see a movie on Sunday. So we compromised and Sunday afternoon after doing homework she went to see Definitely, Maybe and Monday we went out with friends, a couple with 2 sons. We drove up to Calistoga to see the Old Faithful Geyser of California, which is an underground river that erupts at regular intervals when the water is heated by hot molten rock underground. To get there we drove through Napa and passed beautiful wineries which of course we couldn't check out.

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Afterwards, we headed over to The Petrified Forest, where we got to see... petrified trees (duh). Over 3 million years ago a volcano erupted and the force of it knocks down the trees and covers them with lava and ash. The trees remain buried and over time minerals and silica in the ash replace the living molecules in the trees turning them into rock. Eventually the ash erodes and the now petrified trees are discovered. Pretty cool. Below are some pictures from our day out.

Other than that, life is routine. Arthur is traveling (currently in North Dakota), Maor is doing okay in school except for one teacher who all the kids hate, and I am having a good semester in school. I am taking a class in medical informatics through the University of Pittsburgh which is really interesting and the teacher is great. I am also taking a class in web design which is tons of work but also a lot of fun and also with an exellent instructor. My third class is in reference librarianship which I think is important for any type of librarian although I don't think I'll actually work as a reference librarian. My instructor in this class is also terrific - I had her for a previous class so I knew she's good.

Yesterday in the supermarket I saw them unpacking and setting up the matzoh display which always makes me so happy knowing that Pesach is getting close. We're not sure yet what we're doing for Pesach. Besides suffering through 2 more 3 day yomtovs. Why didn't I check the calendar before I agreed to come here? I totally forgot about this awful phenomenon. If ever there was a reason to make aliyah, besides the cost of Jewish day school tuition, that would have to be it.

Do you blog? Do you love coffee?

If you answered yes to both those questions then Joffrey's Java Beta Test is for you. I found this via Mashable, one of the many (too many?) blogs I read. You sign up to be a beta tester and Joffrey's will send you their new flavored coffee, Jamaican Me Crazy, to try. Plus they'll post a link to your blog on their page.

I must admit that in my excitement for free coffee, I didn't even think about whether it's kosher. So I sent off an e-mail asking them but haven't heard back yet. Of course, I already signed up to get the coffee. I cannot resist coffee, especially if it's free.
UPDATE: According to the e-mail I received back from Joffrey's ALL (emphasis theirs) their coffees and teas (wimps) are kosher! Yeah, I'm psyched!

Art in unexpected places

One day as I was walking from my office in downtown San Jose to the nearby King Library, I was stopped in my tracks by these beautiful gates. Since I am not like Batya walking around with my camera (or so it seems from her blog) I had to go back another day. But I really wanted to share this unique and interesting work which i came across unexpectedly almost hidden in a passageway. They were created by Bill Gould for The Globe, a new condominium community.
You can also view these images on Flickr.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Booking through Thursday - after the honeymoon

I haven't been posting much lately so I decided to answer BTT's question (suggested by Chris at book-a-rama):

Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?

I had no trouble coming up with an immediate response to this one - Patricia Cornwell. And as I'm thinking that my eyes go to a post in my Google reader by Fausti who took the words right out of my mouth. For so long I would avidly await Patricia Cornwell's next Kay Scarpetta novel. Even when they got really silly (Benton: dead or alive?) I remained a loyal reader and plodded through, sometimes yelling at the book while reading. But no more. There are just too many books I want to read (and not enough hours in the day) to torture myself and force myself to read a bad book by a once enjoyable author.