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NO MORE .com

Sorry folks, but for the very few of you who visit via ducksandbooks.com you’re going to have to type in ducksandbooks.wordpress.com starting soon.

At $8.99/year, having a domain name was fine, then it was $9.99, now $11.99, and soon it will be $14.99 through 1&1 (the most bare-bones, cheapest domain name registration I’ve found). I just don’t see any value in it! That’ is two months of Nexflix or Hulu Plus and I actually USE those. Since I’m not even consistent in my self-branding (am I Violarulz or Ducksandbooks?), I’m just going to let both domains go.

Que sera. I’ve owned violarulz.com for 11 years, it was a personal blog, then this was and I turned that into forwarding to my Google+ account (does ANYONE use those?), and now I’m just letting it go. I suppose it matches with my “dumb phone” lifestyle, though I’m quite upset at Google for dumping 2 of my 4 favorite products (Google SMS, a service that lets me google via text message, and Google Reader, an RSS aggregator). They haven’t quit supporting Google Reader yet, I’ve backed up my subscription list but am otherwise in absolute denial that anything is going to change. Please, come hold my hand when it disappears on July 1?

Back to the stone ages!

Let me know if you have any issues with reading my blog, I’ll try and talk you through changing your RSS subscription or changing your bookmarks.

Every summer, without a doubt, I get a little homesick for camp. I miss the lake, I miss the fact that someone else will do all the cooking and dishes, I miss the order/structure (same wake-up time, play amazing orchestral music, music theory, lunch, classes in theater, piano, art, Alexander Technique, etc./chamber music/practice time and viola lessons/activities, dinner time, concerts or free time, and the same bed time 6 days/week, no classes on Sunday and only AM classes on Monday). I miss the immersion in all of arts and the weather. Today’s relatively low humidity (~50%) and high of 80F are much more Michigan-y feeling than DC. 

view from the deck of the Maddy Cabin

Green Lake from the deck of the Maddy Cabin, Summer 2012

I don’t miss performing (yet?), but I miss being immersed in art and having it available in all forms to fill me up. Feeling whimsical? Visit the sculpture studio. Feeling contemplative? Shakespeare or ballet. Restless? Ultimate Frisbee or free swim, or sailing (if you remembered to re-up your open water training). Feeling lonely? Poetry reading, organ recital, or new music ensemble! The smaller performances always had such a warmth to them, and usually some really friendly older patrons who love to chat during intermission.

The business was the best thing for me. Long, days filled with lounging make me restless.

why yes, that is a VERY tall man conducting NINE harps

HS Concert Orchestra, conducted by Mr. Holland, with Mrs. Holland’s 9 harps

I guess what I’m saying is that I need more activities in my life. 4th of July weekend and last weekend were GREAT, we did something everyday and I felt wonderful!

This year’s camp stats. It seems like the kids get more and more amazing each year. Or I’m just getting older and further removed. I was amazed by my peers when I was there too. It could just be that kids are amazing.

ducksandbooks:

“This is not to say that camp is a panacea for socially isolated people with disabilities. ” Nope, but for me it was a panacea for someone who didn’t know they were socially isolated (until they weren’t) who has no major disabilities.

Originally posted on Matan Koch's Blog:

“Holy sh**, that’s Matan” – Unknown shmirah (on-duty counselor) late July 1994.

These were the words I heard during the execution phase of a critical step in trying to sneak me across camp, from boys’ camp to girls’ camp on the last night of the first session of Eisner Camp in 1994.

Sneaking across camp, or raiding, was a time-honored tradition, especially on the last night.  I like to think that it was a little more innocent when I was a child than it is now, with the stories that I hear of rampant teenage sexuality, but there is no question that hormones were a motivating factor.

Despite being as motivated as any other 12-year-old boy, there were some significant complexities in the idea that I would participate.  The first was that sneaking across camp involved, well, sneaking, and I was in a large and very loud power wheelchair. …

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ducksandbooks:

No shame, I LOVE POP MUSIC!

Originally posted on TIME:

According to the calendar — if not the weather — it is officially summer.

That means it’s time to don the white pants, slap on the Coppertone and find out which songs will be dominating radio from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Last year, it was a toss up between two ubiquitous hits: Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” But which song will be blasting on beaches, blaring at barbecues and playing at pool parties from coast to coast this summer? We have a few guesses, but want to hear from you, too. Vote in our poll (located at the bottom of this post) and help us divine this summer’s mega-hit.

Here are 14 songs vying for the title of Song of the Summer 2014:

Pharrell – “Come Get It Bae” [feat. Miley Cyrus]

The man behind two of last summer’s mega-hits —”Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky”…

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Problem Solved

ducksandbooks:

I’ve been eating commercially made Matzohla this year, but next year I’ll be making my own matzo-granola!

Originally posted on Proof of the Pudding:

In my experience, “Passover” and “delicious” and “weekday breakfast” are not words that belong in the same sentence. On Passover, Jews must remove all grains from their diet, including anything derived from wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt. That means no cereal, no muffins, no bagels, no oatmeal — essentially, none of the staples that get me through my workday morning.

Sure, there are “Kosher for Passover” muffins and cereals made with matzo meal, but have you ever tasted some of these alleged breakfast goodies? Most of them are gritty, tasteless disasters. And of course there is always the taste sensation that is matzo itself, but somehow allowing my stomach’s first encounter with food in more than 8 hours to be an indigestible cardboard-like wafer seems like cruel and unusual punishment.

Friends have told me that breakfast is the “easiest” meal during Passover because you can eat scrambled eggs and…

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no distractions

1200 Calories

ducksandbooks:

ALL OF THIS.

Originally posted on Sophieologie:

I don’t know why “1200″ managed to be the magic number of calories women should consume if they want to lose weight.

I don’t even know how I know of this number. Only that I know it, and my friends know it, and my mom knows it. Somehow, somewhere along the road, I was taught that if I want to have a flat stomach and tight tushy, I need to limit my calories to 1200 a day and do cardio. I don’t know how it got in to all of our collective brains, but somehow it did (if any ladies remember how or when they first heard the 1200-calorie rule-of-thumb for losing weight, please let me know via comment box).

What I do know is that 1200 is the general number of calories health professionals say women cannot drop below without suffering negative health consequences.

Interesting, isn’t it? 1200 calories. The…

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Read my acquaintance Julie’s reasoning for not replacing her iPhone (which is virtually the same as my reasoning for NOT getting one in the first place). Neither of us wants to be plugged in and available ALL THE TIME, boundaries are good!

Why I am on an iPhone Detox.

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