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Arias and Recitatives
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in synger's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, December 4th, 2008
11:04 am
Time for a drink!
Well, it's Annual Results time again... when we pull together a Web site, briefing packages for the Hill, and news releases about our numbers for the past year. It's always a huge production, which started back in August, with coordination among five of our offices, and a tremendous Web presence.

And I just finished loading it to the Web. Yeah!!!
Thursday, November 6th, 2008
8:57 am
Saying Goodbye
It's hard to say goodbye. We've just returned from a trip to Michigan to attend my father's funeral. Strange to be an orphan at 44. And after all these years of so-called adult-hood, to feel so lost and alone.

And yet, it was a real celebration of the life of a loving, steady, ornery old cuss. His race is finished, and he's with his Lord and at peace. We're the ones who still have to suffer this life together. I was glad that the funeral focused on his life and his victory, and not so much on the palpable sadness.

I had not been expecting the military honors, even though I knew he was a WWII vet. The hardest part, I think, was when the honor guard folded that flag, we heard the gun salute, and the bugler began Taps. I think we all lost it at that point.

And life goes on, of course. THat evening, the kids pulled out their Halloween costumes and went trick-or-treating around my sister's neighborhood, then did a candy exchange in the living room. Gem was in heaven, and was tickled pink that we'd remembered to pack her pretty vampire dress and red wig. The metal fangs didn't fit her mouth; they were designed for adults, but the "glitter blood" she'd picked out looked lovely dripping from the corner of her mouth. Well, lovely from a vampire-mommy's perspective, I guess. *grins*

I was so glad to get back home on Sunday. I still feel like I'm in a bit of a fog, even though his death was expected and he was so ill. It's not like my mom's death, which caught me unprepared at such a bad time (there's not really a good time, but a week before giving birth is a particularly bad time, hormone- and emotion-wise).

But slowly I'm getting back into the swing of things. I went to choir last night and it helped my mood, as always. I've been pulling out my hymnal a lot this past week, and it's been a big help. Just singing the hymns gives me so much peace. Hunter has been putting up with my lack of interest in just about everything with good grace. Maybe I'll actually cook dinner one of these nights. I think he's getting tired of take-out. So am I. *smiles*
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
11:09 am
She's Baaaack!
I had no idea it had been so long since I posted here. Nor did I realize that someone could send me a "nudge", which sent an auto-PM to me. Thanks!

I'm looking forward to Balticon this weekend, especially since Hunter will be with me for the first time in a couple of years! Yeah! And I had the presence of mind this year to actually look up the GOH ahead of time, and have been reading her books the past couple of months. I might actually have some sort of clue when I go to some of the seminars...

On second thought, probably not. But even without a clue, I'll have at least heard of her, which is sometimes not the case. I find that I have my old favorite authors, and don't like paying the money to try new ones. Fortunately, when our library moved into its new, bigger space, they beefed up the SF section fairly nicely. So I've discovered a couple of new favorite writers in the past year or so.
Thursday, November 29th, 2007
10:13 am
Level 46 word
Gotta love the freerice.com site, where at level 46 one of the words is...


Current Mood: amused
9:06 am
Word fascination
Anyone remember the Hunger Site? You clicked and advertisers would pay a few cents toward charities that helped alleviate hunger. Well now there is the Freerice.com site. Similar premise, in that advertisers pay for food in exchange for being featured on the page. But it's FUN now. It's a vocabulary test.

You go there and it gives you a word, and four definitions. You choose the right one (presumably). It gives you a couple more, to find what level you are. There are 50 levels. If you miss a definition, it bumps you down a level. If you get three in a row in that level, it bumps you up a level. And each correct guess puts 10 grains of rice in your bowl, to signify the amount of food given by the advertisers for your participation. It's not much, but it adds up quickly if lots of people do it.

I'm pretty consistently riding between levels 46-48. I've gotten as high as 49, but haven't gotten to 50 yet. It's a lot of fun for those of us who love words. I've been very surprised at 1) how many meanings I can figure out from other words I know and 2) how many words I THOUGHT I knew the definition of, but are really something else. (For some reason I have thought for years that pulchritudinous was blowzy, only to find it's beautiful)
Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
10:48 am
Very late update
Very late update. I had a VERY great time at Balticon. It was relaxing, restorative, and I got to hang out with some of my dearest friends. I updated my phone and prayer lists. I stayed up later than usual (and got up at the same time... so I was wiped by the end of the weekend). I drank more than usual, and didn't get puffy feet because of it. I didn't feel as utterly old as I have the last few cons. I got to put some LJ names with faces (I had known them, but didn't realize they LJ'd). I got to see Pirates at World's End. And I even got in a 30-minute workout every day.
Monday, May 7th, 2007
5:11 pm
Getting out is good.
The weather lately has been SO nice (and the tourists haven't been too thick as yet), that I've been trying to get out at lunchtime. Friday was perfect. Not too busy at work, and the weather was great. So instead of grabbing something at the deli downstairs and heading back to the computer, I headed out for a walk.

I had forgotten about one particular plaza until I heard water running and noticed that the pavement under my feet was shaped and colored. I realized I was walking in the "ocean", and that I had made my way to the Navy Memorial.

I got lunch from a place near there, and sat on the plaza admiring the memorial and watching the people. We have a young friend who has just entered Navy boot camp (which reminds me that I need to write him an encouraging note). It really reminded me of all those who serve in our military, and how different their jobs are from my supremely safe 9-5 behind-the-desk career. I enjoy watching some of the shows on the Discovery and Military channels, especially the ones about WWII (because it reminds me of my father, who served in the Pacific). It makes me feel proud.

I'm glad I work downtown. So often I forget how close I am to memorials and exhibits that other people have to travel days to get to. I want to make more of an effort this spring to avail myself of some of these things, before the weather gets too hot and the tourists descend upon us en masse.
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
4:00 pm
Book musings
Good thing about going to the library... is all the books. Yeah, yeah, I know, that's a given, right? With time at a premium with my eye half on a six-year-old, I've taken lately to swishing through the "Reading List" section of the library, where there are all sorts of books I "should have" read. These are the books that are assigned in high school lit classes. Most of them I have read. Some are old friends. Some are ones I'm not interested in. But some are things I've always wanted to read and never got around to.

Take "The Handmaid's Tale." It came out after I was in college, and didn't have any teachers telling me to read it. I heard about it peripherally, and knew the basic premise of it. But I hadn't read it until this year.

Glad I read it. Glad I'm done with it.

Read more...Collapse )
Monday, April 30th, 2007
9:35 am
Good morning!
I had a very fun, productive weekend. Did errands with Gem, got to go to the library, got half my dining room carpet cleaned (cat keeps spraying the baseboards on that side *sigh*), finished all my laundry.... AND eased Gem into neighbor social interactions.

We've been rather isolationist, and don't like her playing out in the front yard, so she knows a few neighbors, but not many. When we went for a walk on Saturday, we stopped by a house that had a little girl Gem's age playing outside. We've waved at her before but didn't know her. Before I knew it, the girls were playing in the backyard together. Her family is Hispanic, so there was a bit of a language barrier, but I was able to ask if Gem could stay here and play a while, and to point out where we lived (three houses down on the right). So she had some play time and made a new friend.

Then after church on Sunday she wanted to ask another friend on the other side to come play, so I walked out with her and watched her cross the street and go to their door. Soon, we had Desiree over playing in our backyard with Gem. It was a first, on both counts (her playing at Daniella's and Desiree coming over to play). Before this we did "play dates" that were set up ahead of time.

She's getting to be such a big girl. I'm so very proud of her.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
10:34 am
Things guys probably don't have to think about
Today is a lovely day, so I wore my nice periwinkle blue sweater to work. My mom's long string of blue glass beads matched perfectly, so I slipped those on, too.

Have you seen Chicago? Or Thoroughly Modern Millie? I didn't realize that these beads were THAT long. They're not down to my waist, but they are farther past my bosom than I remembered.

And, since I have what Thoroughly Modern Millie lamented as "full fronts", my beads sway from side to side when I walk (instead of lying flat the way a good flapper's beads should). I didn't realize what a bouncy walk I had. And exactly how much attention such... er... motion... attracts. (I think this is the first time that older janitor has ever noticed me in six years of working on this floor)

Well, I hadn't thought the beads were long enough to double, but I was able to do it. So now instead of one long, swaying line of beads, I have a double-strand up around my neckline.

Shame. I like a longer line in my necklaces. Just.. not that long.

Current Mood: amused
Monday, March 26th, 2007
10:03 pm
A good start
Today was a wonderful day. Not only was it my day off, and the weather was nice, but my Dear Husband had the day off, too. We don't get a lot of time together, let alone a whole day, so it was a real treat.

So of course we spent it running errands. *grins* A nice breakfast, a movie (Amazing Grace -- very well done movie, and I enjoyed it very much), got Gem's new playset (she's outgrown the plastic toddler-sized swingset, so we're getting a nice big wooden one with a fort and a slide and a picnic table, and swings), got a new lightbulb to replace the burned out turn signal on my car, got a new feline happy-scent diffuser for the kitties... I think that was all the errands.

Then we used the rest of the early evening light to start prepping the back yard for the new play set. The people who lived here before us had a fish pond in that area. We had taken it out when Gem was little, but hadn't gotten rid of all the big rocks in the rock garden surrounding it. We got most of the big rocks out, and replanted the blueberry bush. Tomorrow we take down the plastic playset and dig up daffodils and try to level the spot. We hope to get some wood mulch later in the week, and prep the ground, then put up the playset this weekend.

I love days where I feel like we've accomplished a lot!

Current Mood: accomplished
7:08 pm
Revelation, and proposal
I have been thinking lately about how I journal here. Or rather, how I don't, and why. I realized that I tend to put off posting ideas that I have. Then it's gone and I don't bother posting. When thinking about the ideas that I put off posting, I realized that they are invariably religious in nature.

I would like to feel like I can write my ideas here. But I also realize that many of my readers do not necessarily share my particular religious interests, and I acknowledge that many of them do not share my faith at all. I'm a religiously conservative Christian, of the Reformed tradition, exploring Lutheran doctrine. I get all excited about Christian history and doctrine, and love learning about the various doctrinal and practical differences among the different Christian branches. I can "geek Christian" with the best of them (and the worst), though I've never thought of myself as a so-called Bible Thumper. My style of proselytizing is based in my Reformed background, so I have never felt like I had to go out and talk at people until they converted.

Anyway, I realized lately that I just tend to avoid writing about my religious thoughts and inquiries here.

Then I realized further that LJ allows one to set up different "groups" of readers... and that I should be computer-savvy enough to use their FAQs to figure out how to do this.

Well, I think I might actually have set up a filter group for religious things. So if you are interested in seeing such ramblings, please let me know and I'll add you to the filter. If not, no big deal. Not that I expect I'll post a LOT of stuff, religious or otherwise... I just haven't gotten into that habit. But I'd like to have that freedom, and to share it with those who might possibly be interested.

So I hope I will be posting more. If you are interested in reading ALL my ramblings, religious as well as non, please let me know. And I vow to try to figure out how to use this filter thingie correctly.


Current Mood: relieved
Thursday, February 15th, 2007
8:49 am
I love this time of year. AMC, TCM, all the good movie channels are running old Oscar nominees and winners. Today I got to see Mary Pickford in Coquette (boy, was she a melodrama queen!), and Min and Bill.

I loved the second one. Min is an old warf woman, running a boarding house on the docks, and Bill is her long-time boarder and best friend. She's an "old sea cow" as she puts it -- not a good looking woman at all. But she's raised a child, Nancy, and wants the best for her, and is willing to sacrifice everything to drive the girl away and into a better life. It had its funny moments, but it's primarily a drama. And while I pretty much knew how it would end, I was still extremely touched. If you haven't seen it, see if you can rent it.

Well, have to pour myself another cup of coffee. The Good Earth is coming on next.

I love this time of year
Wednesday, January 31st, 2007
2:45 pm
The Top 15 Biblical Ways to Acquire a Wife
1. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she's yours. (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)

2. Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)

3. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. -- Moses (Exodus 2:16-21)

4. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. -- Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)

5. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. -- Benjaminites (Judges 21:19-25)

6. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib. -- Adam (Genesis 2:19-24)

7. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right. Fourteen years of toil for a woman. -- Jacob (Genesis 29:15-30)

8. Cut off 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law's enemies and get his daughter for a wife. -- David (I Samuel 18:27)

9. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. (It's all relative of course.) -- Cain (Genesis 4:16-17)

10. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. -- Xerxes or Ahasuerus (Esther 2:3-4)

11. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a ...woman; now get her for me." If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one for me." -- Samson (Judges 14:1-3)

12. Kill any husband and take HIS wife. (Prepare to lose four sons though). -- David (2 Samuel 11)

13. Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea, it's the law). -- Onan and Boaz (Deuteronomy or Leviticus, example in Ruth)

14. Don't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. -- Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)

15. A wife?...NOT!!! -- Paul (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)
Saturday, January 27th, 2007
3:59 pm
Recall Notice!!
Okay, this may be considered sacrilegious, but I thought it was hilarious.


RECALL NOTICE: The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to the serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed, "Sub-sequential Internal Non-morality", or more commonly known as SIN, as it is primarily expressed. Some other symptoms are

(a) Loss of direction
(b) Foul vocal emissions
(c) Amnesia of origin
(d) Lack of peace and joy
(e) Selfish, or violent behavior
(f) Depression or confusion in the mental component
(g) Fearfulness
(h) Idolatry
(i) Rebellion.

The Manufacturer, Who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect.
The RepairTechnician, Jesus, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. The toll free number to call for repair in all areas is:

P-R-A-Y-E-R. Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure. Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will replace it with:

(a) Love
(b) Joy
(c) Peace
(d) Patience
(e) Kindness
(f) Goodness
(g) Faithfulness
(h) Gentleness
(i) Self Control

Please see the operating manual, HOLY BIBLE, for further details on the use of these fixes. As an added upgrade the manufacturer has made available to all repaired units a facility enabling direct monitoring and assistance from a resident Maintenance Technician, the Holy Spirit. Repaired units need only make Him welcome and He will take up permanent residence on the premises!

Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction, voids the Manufacturer's warranty, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice.
2:50 pm
At last! A real excuse to spend so much on Girl Scout Cookies!
We usually buy three or four boxes of Girl Scout Cookies each year. We have a friend whose daughter is selling for the first time this year, so we promised to buy some from her. Then there's the girl from church. And the neighbor girl. And the ones outside Safeway...

Anyway, we usually end up with FAR more cookies than we really need.

But this year, I am able to say that I do not regret buying two extra boxes of cookies. They are being donated to injured service men at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. What an easy way to say Thank You to those who serve to protect and defend this country! And the calories won't end up on MY hips.

So if your local Girl Scout comes along to sell you cookies, you might ask if their troop is participating in something like this.
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007
10:14 pm
It's crunchy, refreshing, and has zero calories
The other day Hunter and I watched The Guardian. It's a movie set in Sydney about a Thai guy who protects and trains the royal elephants. Or something like that. I came in half-way through, but the story wasn't very easy to follow.

The fight scenes, however, were amazingly.. brutal. The style of martial arts this guy uses leads to a lot of broken bones. After about 20 minutes of fight scene followed by plodding, confusing dialogue, then more fight scenes... I had to start giggling.

I wonder how much celery they had to use in this film?
Monday, January 22nd, 2007
11:10 am
The first of the "hard questions"
The other day, when Gem and I had gotten back from church and she was getting ready for bed, she moved as if she were hiding something from me. Come to find out, she'd stolen some stickers from a children's guest bag when she'd gone downstairs on her own to go potty. The bags were left-over from the Children's Service at Christmastime, and were out for children who were visiting the church. She had asked for one at Christmas, and had received one, complete with stickers and stuff. And if she'd asked for another one, she'd have gotten one. They were obviously left over. But to do so without asking wasn't a good thing.

ReligiousCollapse )
Wednesday, January 10th, 2007
9:08 am
Weird Pattern
I notice patterns in things. How many windows along a side of a building, how many rivets along the Metro car door -- things like that. This past pay period at work had a pattern that struck me as strange.

First, you must understand that our pay periods are two weeks long, and that I'm on a compressed work schedule. This means that in a two week (10 day) cycle, I work eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day, then I get a day off. This nine-day cycle makes for a three day weekend every other week, but it also makes for a longer day.

Anyway, keep that nine-day cycle in mind. Add to that the fact that it was the last week of December (Christmas), and the first week of January (New Years), PLUS the extra holiday in memory of President Ford's death. Finally, during that time I took three days off.

So when I put in my timecard last week, imagine my delight to see that, for the first time in over 16 years of federal service, I had worked, taken leave, and taken holiday for exactly the same number of days --three days each!

How cool is that?!
8:39 am
Quiz: What's your Christian heological worldview?
I don't often do or post these things, but since I've been studying more Lutheran doctrine (coming from a strong Reformed/Presbyterian stance), I found it pretty interesting.

You scored as Reformed Evangelical. You are a Reformed Evangelical. You take the Bible very seriously because it is God's Word. You most likely hold to TULIP and are sceptical about the possibilities of universal atonement or resistible grace. The most important thing the Church can do is make sure people hear how they can go to heaven when they die.


Reformed Evangelical


Neo orthodox


Roman Catholic










Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
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