It's a very quiet house right now. Sydney is asleep; Jason is at a poker/birthday party; Daisy is snorting quietly in her bed. I could go to bed, but considering how miserable sleeping actually is these days (can I order a new back? like a whole new spine and everything? no? *sob*) I'm postponing my bedtime until later.
In other more interesting news, Jason had a holiday staff party/progressive dinner tonight, and I went along. We got a babysitter, I got dressed up, wore makeup, diamond earrings, HIGH HEELS, and did look rather sassy for being nine months pregnant if I do say so myself. It was a fun enough affair. I ate crab puffs even though I faintly recall reading something about how pregnant women should not eat crab, but maybe that's just my imagination. I traded a few birthing stories with other moms, and didn't worry about not mingling around too much since I had a good reason to be sitting (refer back to the nine months pregnant + high heels).
Jason made a double batch of gingerbread cookies today, so our house smells super yummy. The one smell that's missing? Irish Cream. Or rum. Or anything remotely of alcohol. I'm not a serious drinker (I'm not even a drink-a-month drinker), but I'm dying for some tasty holiday beverages. Only a few more days to go. I told Jason I was having a glass of Willamette Valley Riesling at the hospital as soon as baby was born, but he thought they'd frown on that. Crazies.
I'm almost officially done teaching this semester. Last day of presentations was on Thursday, and next Thursday they have their final. Then...finished. It's been a very different semester of teaching than last year. Last spring, all my students had an easy time tracking with the syllabus, and they all passed the class. This term, more students have had grade troubles, and a few aren't going to make it. I think I'd be concerned about it (what could I have done differently? how could I have made things clearer?) except that the flunking students very obviously didn't care how they were doing (yes, showing up to class is always a good idea). So, then. That's the way it goes. Always quite bizarre, however, to see students apathetic about their education when tuition is nearly $20,000. Nevertheless, I have to say that I couldn't possibly encounter a nicer group of students than the ones that I teach. Genuine, caring, polite--some of them are even spending their Christmas vacation in New Orleans rebuilding a church. Good kids.
I'm conducting a Google Reader experiment. For many moons now I have used Bloglines to keep me updated on who is posting. I know some of you may still keep track of your blog reading by using bookmarks, or links off your blog, or sticky notes with web addresses scrawled on them (and if this is you, please please please let me help you), but I had to give that up. I hardly have time to write on my own blog, let alone spend time clicking through all the blogs that I read trying to see who has updated. So Bloglines did all my clicky work for me, and the downside is that I comment less frequently (because I was too lazy to click through to the actual blog after reading the post) and I don't get to see if people change their designs. It's sad, but I make do.
But then, Bloglines and Blogger decided not to play nicely. Sometimes Bloglines won't update a Blogger feed for hours, or perhaps days. And other times Bloglines will just drop a Blogger feed altogether. I won't realize for weeks that I have been missing out on reading someone's blog. This makes me grumpy. Not as grumpy as pregnancy makes me, but a very close second. Oh, and quite often Bloglines won't post pictures, so if I want to see your adorable children/funny pets/amazing craft/beautiful sunset I have to click through to the blog. Harrumph.
Then, I happened upon this post at Kerflop (which is inspired by this post at Schnozzfest) espousing the virtues of Google Reader. Evidently, it's like Bloglines. Only better, see, because Google and Blogger obviously get along (since they are corporately connected) and because Google seems to have the corner on the market for getting info in such a speedy--if not somewhat stalkerish--way.
At first I was hesitant to try it out. I have mixed feelings about supporting Google ideas because they've become this huge entity that will probably one day rule the Internet, like Clear Channel or Time Warner rule the media. (Should I get on my "It's a bad thing that all the news is controlled by less than half a dozen corporations" soapbox? No? Okay.) Despite my non-affection for Google, I decided to try out Google Reader and see if it was better than Bloglines.
Okay. It's better.
It picks up the new feeds faster. It posts pictures. It's so organized, and somehow very clever. True, it's not very pretty and it doesn't seem to allow me to rearrange the feeds, but it does what it should do, and that makes me happy. And it was super duper easy to export my subscriptions from Bloglines to Google Reader. (In Bloglines there's a link at the bottom of the subscriptions which says "Export subscriptions." Save that file, and then in Google Reader under "Manage Subscriptions" you click on the "import" link. Voila!)
I haven't totally given up on Bloglines, but I'm close. Google may have won me over. Those rascals.
And finally, now that I really am tired and ready to go to bed, I have to leave you with a snippet from the first post I read this morning. I was sitting at the computer, breathing in the lovely smell of gingerbread, drinking my very sober apple cider, and reading about Raehan's broken wrist. Then without warning, her post leads to this picture: