(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 06:24 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Today, I tried Adagio's Thai chai. It's notable for having coconut and lemongrass in it. The coconut comes out strongly in the scent, but the flavor is primarily lemongrass. This had a five minute steeping time and is bitter. I added stevia, and that helped the bitterness a bit, not a lot but some. I'm not entirely sure what I think of this one. The lemongrass is peculiar but not unpleasant. I can't taste the coconut, so I'm not sure what it's doing in there.

I think I've figured out why the masala chai wasn't overly bitter yesterday. I think I used half as much tea as I should have for the size of my mug (holds a bit more than two cups of liquid). I did look at the ingredients, and cloves are listed. They're lower in the list of ingredients than I expected, based on how strongly the brew smelled of cloves.

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 02:49 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Big Fish Games responded to my complaint about the game with the blank screen in a rather generic fashion. They didn't address the specific game, just said that it might be a problem with older games (which this one wasn't) not interacting well with the current Mac OS. I'm using 10.7.5; I forget what animal it's named for.

They gave me a code for a free game which I am using. I looked specifically for a game labeled as 'new,' but beyond that, I was guessing. It's hard to tell which games will be good. I could, I suppose, have done a play test. They allow an hour of free play to test games out. I just haven't bothered recently because I had a run of good games. Of course, an hour wouldn't have gotten me to the problem point in Hidden Expedition: The Crown of Solomon. It would, though, have given me a heads up on the problem with Mystery Trackers: Four Aces. Going forward, I'll have to play test.

Finally it's the week-end

Sep. 20th, 2014 01:34 pm
writerlibrarian: Butterscotch and white cat staring at you (Hello kitty)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
My work week was meh, my back was not cooperating. But it's Saturday, time to rest.

Happy belated natal day to [personal profile] isis  and [personal profile] lijahlover  I hope you had a wonderful day.

I've been playing Minecraft of course. I have a big stone house,  a mine (with iron), I am growing pumpkins, I'm still in safe mode, I haven't encounter bad creatures yet. Baby steps.

I've been reading Proust slowing but I'm enjoying it.

I made a French bread blueberry pudding with the bread I had and I didn't want to waste. I put in a lot less cinnamon this time.

I'm gonna make individual lasagna tomorrow. I ate the last frozen one this week for lunch.

The cleaning service, they are wonderful, came this week. My house is wonderful and one of the two persons that come, one is the owner and one of her long time employee, Debbie did my bed. With my back my bed is never made perfect, you know. I try but I end up pulling something every time. I've accepted that my bed will not be neatly made. I came home for lunch and there is was. A perfectly neatly made bed. I started to cry.
I left a message with them saying how kind and how happy I was because, well, I can't do it even if I want to very much. I had a message when I came home at the end of the day that Debbie, who took the time to make my bed, was very touched. Anyway... Wednesday was very emotional day in a good way.

My Batman shawl is coming along I have two more repeats of Block B to do.

It's grey and cloudy but it's not raining, that's a plus.

oh my dieu

Sep. 20th, 2014 12:03 pm
the_shoshanna: Foucault Flakes breakfast cereal (Foucault flakes)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
Possibly I would not have laughed quite so hard at this if I didn't live in Quebec.

(If I were on Twitter I would have long since followed The Worst Muse; since I'm not, I just load the page every few weeks and catch up.)

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 11:28 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott had to work late last night. It was nearly 8:30 by the time he got home, so they kept him about an hour longer than the twelve hours he was supposed to work. He's at work again today. We're hoping that working this weekend will lead to having next weekend off. Cordelia has two soccer games next weekend, so Scott having to work would be very much inconvenient.

I made the room reservation for UCon. It turned out that I could do it online, so it wasn't really a big deal. The hardest part was figuring out how to request the right type of room and pillows (Scott's allergic to down). I asked for a rollaway, too, so we should be set on that heading.

Cordelia stayed up quite late last night. We didn't get her to start getting ready for bed until 10:00. That meant that Scott and I didn't start getting ready for bed until nearly 11:00. Scott was reluctant to move because he was trying to de-stress after his long day at work. Unfortunately, less sleep means that today will be more unpleasant (it may be awful anyway-- From what Scott said, there were some real problems with the machines last night. They also had a temp quit in the middle of the shift).

It's still not clear whether or not Scott can access the hard drive with our LARPs on it. He hasn't had time to try to do it. That means I have to decide whether I'm going to come up with possessions and special abilities from scratch. I can do it. I'd rather not, but I can. The first step is to find out if I have a copy of the game in the basement. If I do, I can use that. If I don't, I need to get a binder and print out a new copy. I seem to remember seeing at least one copy downstairs when I was looking for last year's game (which I didn't find), so hopefully, it's there.

We still haven't heard from Neighborhood Roofing about paying for the rest of the roof. I'm surprised they haven't followed up yet. I was planning to wait to complain about the debris in the vent chimney until they got in touch about payment, but I may have to call them on Monday about it. I've heard it now. It's a pinging rattle right when one turns on the fan and right after one turns it off. Whatever it is is light enough that the fan keeps it in the air while it's running. I am concerned that there may not be an easy way to get the crap out of the chimney. It may require hiring someone to take the fan apart. Scott tried taking the grate off, but that didn't help (though he discovered that it was really, really dusty and needed cleaning). Scott does say that the fan works much better now that it's got a real chimney. I didn't notice a difference when I showered today, but I don't run the water as long or as hot as Scott does when he has a cold.

So far, I'm showing no signs of having caught Cordelia's cold. It's not for want of trying on her part. She's actually stated that she's trying to give me the cold. At first, she said it was so she wouldn't have it any more. Then, she changed to saying that she wanted me to know how miserable she is. She really hates the cough medicine we're giving her, but we all know she'll have a terrible time sleeping without it. She always gets a night time cough with a cold, always. Once she's asleep, she'll usually stay asleep, but with the cough, she has an awful time getting to sleep.

I'm all outta bubblegum

Sep. 19th, 2014 09:23 pm
jadelennox: Emerson Cod from Pushing Daisies, glaring (pushing daisies: Emerson)
[personal profile] jadelennox
The compelling nature of They Live is the idea that the world is tormented by capitalism, homelessness, unemployment, white supremacy, consumerism, poverty, and police brutality, but it's okay because you can punch it.

Well, and shoot it. But mostly punch.

more on nouns

Sep. 19th, 2014 06:30 pm
the_shoshanna: yoga poses as editing marks (editor yoga)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
I mentioned noun strings yesterday, but of course I couldn't think of an example from my work. So I'm talking about them in today's post.

One of the great strengths of English is the way that it can use words as parts of speech that God never intended them for. As I said yesterday, I can turn verbs into nouns; the fact that that's often a terrible, horrible, no good very bad thing to do does not by any means mean it always is! Conversely, I can verb a noun -- just like that, right there, where I used the noun "verb" as a verb meaning "make into a verb." I can even do these in multiple ways: I can verb nouns, verbify nouns, even verbulize or verbulate them. (Oh god, now my iPad is learning all of those as words and will try to autocorrect to them later, I'm doomed.)

I saw an article recently on how modern usage is in the process of turning the conjunction "because" into a preposition. Because netspeak. (See what I did there?)

And nouns can also play the role of adjectives, even while remaining nouns. That is, in a phrase like "hand soap," "hand" is still a noun, but it's what's called an attributive noun, modifying (describing) another noun. It's soap for hands.

In yesterday's post I mentioned long strings of prepositional phrases as a Bad Thing, and they usually are. But you know what's worse? Noun strings where the prepositions that describe the relationships between the nouns have been suppressed.

For example. Suppose you have some hand soap. It's in a public bathroom, so there's a thing attached to the wall by the sink that people get it out of: a hand soap dispenser. When the soap runs out, the custodian comes along with a plastic bag or pack of more of it, that gets plopped into the thing: a hand soap dispenser refill pack. You need to buy more, so you need to worry about the hand soap dispenser refill pack price. That price changes, so you want to track the hand soap dispenser refill pack price fluctuations. And if you're lucky, you can get a sense in advance of what the changes in price will be: you hope for hand soap dispenser refill pack price fluctuation predictability.

(This is a made-up example, but it is not unlike something I saw today in editing my current job. Pity me)

As you can perhaps guess, long strings of nouns like this are often better turned into a series of prepositional phrases -- combined with some verbs, by god! Some combinations of nouns are almost set or fixed phrases: hand soap, and even hand soap dispenser, are not likely to bother anyone. But some of these...

"You hope for hand soap dispenser refill pack price fluctuation predictability" would be much better as something like "You hope that you'll be able to predict the fluctuations in the price of the refill packs for the hand soap dispenser." That's got three prepositional phrases in a row, but I don't think anyone's going to be complaining! I've seen some noun strings that I ended up turning into several sentences, almost an entire paragraph.

I would never want to give up the tremendous power of the English language! I think it offers wonderful, exciting possibilities. But with great power comes great responsibility. Such a powerful tool should be used wisely.

Amirite? Lol. Gr8 pwr, gr8 pwning.

Fiction (and related)

Sep. 19th, 2014 11:59 am
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
[personal profile] rivkat
Abigail Nussbaum’s review of Lucy explains really well what I liked, and didn’t like, about it.

I also liked [personal profile] rachelmanija's review of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians—if you can stand spoilers (heed the content warnings), there is good discussion in the comments.

Daniel Abraham )

Loki down under )

Steven Brust & Skyler White )

Jim Butcher )

James S.A. Corey )

A Justice League Mirrorverse crossover )


(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2014 01:52 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Some time between now and the beginning of December, we have to shop for performance clothes for Cordelia. She's doing orchestra this year, playing viola, and that requires a certain type of clothes. They want a white shirt, preferably button down, and all black below the waist. We have the choice of a skirt (must be at least knee length) with tights and pants with black socks. I think Cordelia's current dress shoes are black as required, but we'll have to see (they may not even still fit). The sad part about all of this is that she'll wear all of this stuff twice if we're lucky (assuming it still fits come the spring concert), and she may need a different shirt anyway given the difference in weather between December and May.

As Cordelia was preparing for soccer practice last night, she put on her new soccer shoes and discovered that, with shin guards and soccer socks, they were too tight. Then we put them next to her old shoes and discovered that they were the same size. At least we've got the receipt and no game this weekend.

The shoes that have been pronounced too small were sevens. That's what I wear. That means Cordelia's feet are now bigger than mine. I don't think she realizes that yet. It will please her. She has ambitions to be taller than my 5'2". She's 5'0" now, so I expect she'll manage at least my height. Genetics might be on her side-- Scott's 6'2", and the women in his family are all several inches taller than I am. On the other hand, the tallest woman in my family (counting my grandmothers) is my sister who's 5'3". Who knows?

I have registered my LARP for UCon. I ended calling it Succession Plot which is accurate but uninspired. I simply decided that it was better to get the event in than it was to find exactly the right title. People will likely look more at the blurb and at the fact that it's a LARP than they will at the event title. Now all I have to do is send in our GM deposit. Hopefully the fact that I'm sending in Scott's registration at the same time won't confuse the UCon staff. It's unusual, but I did it last year, and it worked out.

We're hoping to get a room at the hotel for UCon again this year. Scott thinks we can afford it (as long as we don't look at how much money we owe Cordelia), and it really does make everything much easier. Cordelia likes the mini-vacation. I do hope, though, that it's warmer in the hotel room this year. Last year, I had to use my down coat as a blanket for Cordelia because the rollaway bed had really inadequate blankets. I think I'll encourage Scott to make the reservation this weekend. Well, I suppose I could do it. It would be hard because it requires a phone call, but I probably could manage it. I just might end up putting it off for several days first. Reserving early makes getting a room with a king sized bed more likely, and we really do need a king.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2014 01:23 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Today, I tried two Adagio teas.

The first was the rooibos vanilla chai. This is the one uncaffeinated chai included in the chai sampler I bought. I don't always like rooibos teas. There's something in the flavor that doesn't work for me. That said, this one works. I didn't sweeten it because I didn't expect it to be bitter (and it's totally not). I let it steep for ten minutes, the maximum recommended time, and I don't regret that. I like strong flavors. Of course, there's enough cinnamon or something else in the tea that my tongue feels a little odd. Not in a really bad way, just noticeably. I'll see if Cordelia wants to try this. She might actually like it.

The second was the masala chai. The package for that recommended a five minute steep. I was hesitant because I don't like bitterness, but I suppose that the other ingredients (beyond the tea) require a longer steep. I was surprised when I tasted the resulting brew-- It wasn't particularly bitter. I decided to try it unsweetened. As the mug sat next to me, cooling, I got a strong scent from it; it smells a lot like tiger balm which leads me to think there must be a considerable amount of cloves in the blend (I haven't checked the bag to see if I'm right). The flavor isn't what I'm looking for in a chai.

The ancient gods were petty and cruel

Sep. 19th, 2014 09:42 am
jadelennox: Noser from the Middleman, playing the guitar (middleman: noser)
[personal profile] jadelennox
I am having a really hard time with Kevin Sorbo becoming the person who's happy to go on the record saying things like
"[Gibson] got attacked when he was shooting 'The Passion' from the Jewish community, saying 'look at the way you're portraying us.' News bulletin: you did kill Jesus!"
and
“I sort of understand how they never want to deal with the New Testament in Hollywood, because it’s pretty much, you know, run by the world of the, um, Jewish population.”


I mean, Hercules. But also, you know, Jewish deicide AND Jews run Hollywood. Can Blood Libel far behind?

All the sadfaces.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2014 08:03 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
The roof is done. They finished up around five. Scott didn't end up working late after all, so he came home in time to talk to the guys who'd done the work. They were happy to show off what they'd done. Scott is pleased by the solution to the venting problem. He thinks it's clever and likely to work even with our attic insulation. Of the other two companies we got bids from, one didn't mention venting at all, and the other proposed a solution that wouldn't work with our insulation (unlike the Neighborhood Roofing guy, he didn't bother looking in our attic). The one who offered a venting solution didn't bother including the cost in his bid, so it would have been an unpleasant surprise.

The one thing we need to get them back here for is that, when they replaced the pipe for the bathroom vent (something we wanted and signed off on. The old one was just a bit of dryer vent hose, not up to code, and it kept falling down), some debris got stuck in there. When we turn on the fan, it rattles around, and that bothers Scott and scares Cordelia. I haven't actually heard it yet, so I don't know how I feel about it.

I didn't have a phone number for the mother who was going to take Cordelia to practice, so I couldn't cancel. Scott was exhausted, and his shoulder was hurting a lot, so he was just as happy not to go to soccer practice. I feel like a bad mother. I should have asked for a phone number. I should have at least remembered the woman's name and/or her daughter's name. I was just so relieved to have a way to get Cordelia to practice that I blanked on getting details.

Scott wasn't up to actually going out for dinner, but he felt good enough to get carry out. We went to Zoup. Scott got chicken and dumplings soup and a toasted cheese sandwich. I got the chicken pot pie soup. It was nice to have something different. We didn't tell Cordelia what we did; she would have gotten upset to have missed it.

After dinner, Scott and I played a game called Paperback. It's a word formation card game. We weren't playing seriously. We'd have lost if we'd really been playing because there's a turn limit when one plays cooperatively-- One has five turns from the time a certain type of card is exposed to buy it. If no one does, the game ends, and the players lose. Since this was more about me figuring out how the game works, we didn't bother counting turns. We just worked at building words worth as many points as we could manage. The challenge of the game is that there aren't many vowels. Most of those available are either single use or on a card with a consonant. There are wild cards, but as the game goes on and one's deck grows bigger, the odds of getting a wild in one's hand go down.

I started a new hidden object game, Mystery Trackers: Four Aces. It's glitchy, too. A lot of the text boxes are blank, so I'm missing important information for going forward with the game. When I click on the hint button, I get a blank text box, so I'm on my own for figuring things out. I should complain about this one, too, even though it's more playable than the other game. I'm not sure what it is to have gotten two bad games in a row. I played ten games with no problems, apart from the one that I think defaulted to a hard setting instead of the casual play setting I prefer. Of course, six of those games were from the same production studio which seems to have high standards for quality. I may simply have gotten lucky. Still, I've played two other Mystery Trackers games, and they were both fine. I don't know.
cyphomandra: fluffy snowy mountains (painting) (snowcone)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
The Great Divide. Aang + others reach a giant canyon, which can only be crossed with the aid of an Earth bender (or, one assumes, a flying bison). Two Earth tribes fleeing the Fire Nation arrive at the same time, but they have a hundred year feud and each refuses to let the other go first. Aang, practising his Avatar peace-keeping abilities, sends the sick and wounded over on Appa, and then he and the Earth bender guide monitor the groups as they move in parallel through the canyon. Both groups smuggle in food despite the guide's warnings, and when they are attacked by canyon crawlers (the design of which is successfully creepy) as a result, the guide is disabled.

Slightly more specific discussion. )
The Storm. This is a flashback heavy episode in which we see a) why Zuko is exiled, driven to hunt the Avatar and has what turns out to be a burn scar on his face and b) how Aang left the airbenders to end up in that iceberg, interspersed with a storm that sees Sokka endangered on a fishing boat, the captain of which has accused Aang of turning his back on the world when they needed him (thus triggering Aang's flashback sequence).

Assorted ponderings. )

Anyway. I have been languishing with a cold, so the opening of the next episode (in which, post-storm, both Sokka and Katara have colds) was all too appropriate. Next write-up also likely to be delayed by the election, other commitments etc, but The Blue Spirit advance review – arrgh! Awww.

internet outage

Sep. 18th, 2014 10:16 pm
ellen_fremedon: overlapping pages from Beowulf manuscript, one with a large rubric, on a maroon ground (Default)
[personal profile] ellen_fremedon
FYI-- internet at home has been down all day and may be down until Sunday, so my access will be sporadic. Text if you need to get in touch quickly.
the_shoshanna: cartoon of a cat awarding a grammar medal (grammar medal)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
As a copyeditor for an academic press, I do spend a fair amount of my time doing what people probably think of first (if they think of anything) when they hear what my job is: correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and cleaning up footnotes and bibliographies. But I also smooth -- sometimes bloody well rewrite -- the author's text. And one of the things I see authors doing most often, and spend a ton of my time changing, is --

(okay, how many of you were going to complete that sentence with "using the passive voice"? That is sometimes a problem, yes, but it's not as big a problem as this one. Although they do co-occur.)

--is using nouns where they should use verbs.

I think they think it sounds more professional and impressive, but mostly it just sounds thumpingly awkward and unnecessarily wordy.

Verbs, as your second-grade teacher told you, are action words. They give writing vibrancy and life, and far too many academic authors assiduously turn them into nouns, and in the process kill their text stone dead.

(I don't think fan writers fall into this trap, though I have to say I certainly don't read fanfic with the same kind of critical eye. Mostly I just bail out of any fan story that annoys me. But I suspect that not-so-good fan writers are more likely to use a weak verb and try to bolster it with adverbs and adjectives.)

Sometimes it's as basic as saying, oh, "makes the promise that" instead of "promises that." On its own that's pretty harmless, but when it's a constantly recurring pattern, occurring in much longer and more complicated phrases, it drags the text, and the reader, down. Here's another example: "this technique provides for an increased likelihood of participant success." The verb "succeed" is smothered in the noun "success." (And the adjective "likely" is similarly locked up in the noun "likelihood.") Why not say "this technique makes it more likely that participants will succeed"?

Sometimes authors use extra nouns, often because, again, they think it makes their text sound more impressive. Why say "making dinner is complicated" when you can say "the process of making dinner is complicated"? Again, sometimes there are good reasons to add such nouns, but often there are not.

Using nouns instead of verbs is similar to overusing the passive voice in that it too can obscure who the actors are. "Rejection of the proposal by the committee led to the failure of the project." Did the committee reject the proposal, or did someone or something reject the committee's proposal? That is, does this mean "Because the committee rejected the proposal, the project failed" or "Because the committee's proposal was rejected, the project failed"?

Using nouns instead of verbs (and adjectives) can also lead to long strings of nouns or of prepositional phrases. I don't have an example of a long noun string handy (though I sure I'll think of one as soon as I hit Post), but notice that the example above used three prepositional phrases, all of them unnecessary; for some reason, unnecessary nouns often seem to encourage unnecessary prepositional phrases. And check out this whopper I faced in a job a while ago: "They engage in a struggle for the satisfaction of their claim of ownership of property."

That is a fifteen-word sentence in which the only actual verb is semantically almost null. Does it mean "They struggle to be acknowledged as property owners"? "They struggle to prove that they own the property in question"? "They struggle to gain possession of the property they claim to own"? Who the hell knows?

Nouns. They are frequently evil.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2014 03:18 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
That hidden object game I was playing, Hidden Expedition: The Crown of Solomon, turns out to be buggy as hell. I hit a scene where the screen was almost completely white, just the hint button and map button and my possessions visible. I went to the game forum and discovered that this is a common problem with no easy fix and that there are at least two scenes later in the game that have the same problem. I've put in a support request. We'll see if it gives me any useful response. At the very least, I want my money back.

I've found a ride to soccer practice for Cordelia. She'll arrive half an hour late, but she will get there. The family who lives sort of near here will give her a ride home (but couldn't get her there). I was thinking I'd have to call a cab, put her in it and pay the driver up front. They do a fee based on how far one's going rather than charging based on how long the trip takes, so that would have been feasible. Of course, I have no idea if the cab company would have gone for it. They might not want to transport an eleven year old when it wasn't clear who was meeting her on the other end.

The roof work continues. They're pounding away up there. Cordelia complains that it's too noisy for her to work and that she doesn't feel safe going in and out of the house while they're working. She wants to have friends over, but she's not sure she can go get them safely. I don't think it will hurt her to have one day without visitors, but she may feel differently.

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2014 11:51 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott slept all yesterday morning, so I'm glad the roofers didn't come. There's no way he could have slept through them working. He got up about one, and we both played games on our laptops until Cordelia came home.

I'm working my way through a hidden object game called Hidden Expedition: The Crown of Solomon. It's not awful, but I'm finding it kind of clunky. There are long periods of dark screen between scenes, and I haven't had that with other game I've tried. I'm also a bit frustrated with the plot which has me collecting pieces of an artifact and being repeatedly robbed of them right after I find them. I think the plot must require that the villain assemble the artifact and do something with it that I then have to deal with. I just wish I had the option to do something else. The game is also very episodic, with clusters of two to four locations that feel kind of claustrophobic.

I recently finished Dreampath: The Two Kingdoms. I didn't like the animation for that one. It also suffered from coming right after I'd finished a Dark Parables game (Ballad of Rapunzel). Those are complicated and very pretty. Dreampath: The Two Kingdoms was interesting in that it specified a gender for the point of view character (female. It kept addressing me as 'Princess'). Most of the games I've played are very careful not to do to that. It even ended with an implied (heterosexual) romance. It also had clusters of locations, but I could travel between clusters as needed.

The roofers arrived right around eight this morning. I waited to leave for the school until after they arrived. They told me to warn them when I'm coming in or out so that they don't accidentally drop anything on me. I mentioned the cleaning lady, and they said, by the time she comes, they shouldn't be dropping anything any longer. As of now, they've got all the old shingles on the front off, and they're working on the back of the house. I don't think they've started pulling out the bad wood yet (if they have, they've already replaced it in front, but I really don't think they have). The work is currently quieter than I expected. I'm sure that will change.

Scott called as I was leaving the school. There's about a 95% chance he'll have to work late tonight. There's an extra person off on second shift, so they need another person to cover. Since Scott was out yesterday, he's at the top of the list for overtime. I've e-mailed the parents on Cordelia's soccer team to see if I can find someone to take her to and bring her home from practice. I really hope we can find somebody. I don't want to deal with taking her by cab. I might even just keep her home if we can't find a ride. There is one girl on the team who I know lives on this side of town, but in years past, she's been sporadic about attending practices and games because her family also has transportation issues. I have my fingers crossed that that family can help us out tonight.

My time at the library wasn't much. I shelved books for about forty-five minutes. Then I shelf read and straightened shelves. Then the librarian asked me to try to make some shelf labels. I don't think I produced quite what she wanted, but at least, I gave her a base document she could edit.

I was surprised-- The librarian asked me to fill out a background check form. I don't mind, but this is the first time I've needed one for volunteering in the library. Normally, they don't require one if the volunteer is going to be in the presence of a teacher the whole time (which I will be). Background checks are required for anything where the volunteer will be with students without supervision. That's why Scott had to do one for Science Olympiad last year. When I do a background check, I always worry that something will turn up because my name is really, really common. When I first arrived at college, I had trouble because someone with my name but a different middle initial wrote bad checks. All they ask for on the form is name, maiden name, aliases, and date of birth, not even an address.

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