a fair and balanced birdthing (raaven) wrote,
a fair and balanced birdthing

Minor update

I have spent some time this morning (though it's no longer morning) reading, for the first time in weeks, my flist. I hope that you'll all forgive me for my lengthy absence of late. Between working the summer temp gig, dealing with summer (and keeping migraines to a minimum), the sporadic, ongoing spring cleaning of the apartment (our collective lack of housekeeping skills is a continuous source of angst for me), and a fabulously exciting project I'm working on with grifyn...I am left with little physical or mental energy (or, in fact, time) for things like LJ. Which is a shame, as I find it to be a wonderful, inspiring and supportive environment and outlet. Commuting and dealing with people in a workplace for 8 hours a day is tremendously wearing on me, and there are some days when I can *feel* it all eroding away my ability to cope.

I'm enjoying the temp gig, as usual. I find no small amount of smugness in the fact that the person they hired for the earlier part of it instead of me (presumably because of my miserable, migraine-related lack of attendance last year) apparently screwed many things up pretty badly. Not a day goes by that someone doesn't come across some mistake that she made that is continuing to cause problems. I'm finding it fascinating to be working in the heart of the historical district (our building was cornerstoned in 1924, there's a rose garden dedicated to the signers of the constitution by the Daughters of the American Revolution behind/beside it). There are national park things and plaques and statues and all manner of fascinating stuff everywhere. My walk from parking garage to work (about 3 blocks) is all through beautifully maintained national park. Come autumn, when it is cooler, I plan to spend several days in the area touring all the touristy things and taking pictures, and then writing about them for Associated Content.

Sometime in the past several weeks, I scored an old, pristine, *working* magnavox console stereo, for a $50 donation to the University City Arts League, which I'm happy to support. I also scored several books on the ancient near-east, and I am especially pleased to have found Samuel Kramer's* The Sumerians- Their History, Culture and Character, for cheap at a flea market. So, the three books I'm currently reading are that, Zechariah Sitchin's Stairway to Heaven (not one of the flea-market finds; I got a bunch of his books from an ebay deal awhile ago. He's got some very strange and intense ideas - and not *all* of them sound *completely* crackpot to me; though he's definitely a fringe thinker), and The Snake Oil Wars by Parke Godwin. Amusingly (and oddly) enough, they're all sort of inter-related.Stairway is the one that's going the most slowly, as it's my backpack book - and instead of reading lunches I've been mostly working through (while eating) lunch in order to get home earlier in the afternoon.

I have also discovered the niftiest thing in nail polish EVER: Avon's Dry Enamel Strips. I have weird nails (all ridged & thin & brittle), and can never get nail polish to go on smoothly or evenly (also, on a related note, I've never had a professional manicure), and have just barely above zero patience for that sort of thing, so my nails are usually bare. These things are easy to apply, look smooth and beautiful, and are said to last up to 14 days. I'm on day two, and I can't stop looking and marveling at how shiny and smooth my nails are! I plan to buy several sets of each of the colors I like, while they're on sale.

I caught a sale on beef roasts a week or so ago, so we have a freezer full of meat, that we are using to make a sort of spicy shredded beef, similar to carnitas. It's lean, easy to make, good in all sorts of different dishes, and tasty as hell.

I continue to avoid the news, as usual...but I do have some interesting links to post later in relation to the whole UK "terrorist plot" that has been bombarding the airways of late. Suffice it to say for now that I am exceedingly sceptical about the whole thing, and my scepticism seems to be supported by fact in this case.

I've felt pretty crappy most of this weekend (and much of last week, as well), due to what I suspect is a sinus infection. Certainly my sinuses are very unhappy campers of late, and I've been unbelievably exhausted.

The car is in desperate need of a power steering pump replacement, and I have NO idea when we'll be able to get to it.

All for now...

*Samuel Noah Kramer, from what I've learned, is a highly respected scholar who focused his studies on Sumeria. He was a professor at UPenn (just down the road from me) in, I believe, the 50s & 60s, and began the world's first Sumerian dictionary, still in the works (though in an online version) at UPenn today. He's written about a zillion books and essays on the subject, and the one I'm reading is sort of an adjunct to History Begins at Sumer (which I've yet, but am itching to, aquire and read). From the preface of Sumerians - History, Culture and Character:

"The year 1956 saw the publication of my book From the Tablets of Sumer, since revised, reprinted, and translated into numerous languages under the title History Begins at Sumer. It consisted of twenty-odd disparate essays united by a common theme- "firsts" in man's recorded history and culture. The book did not treat the political history of the Sumerian people or the nature of their social and economic institutions, nor did it give the reader any idea of the manner and method by which the Sumerians and their language were discovered and "resurrected". It is primarily to fill these gaps that the present book was conceived and composed."

It's really fascinating to read the background on the research.
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