Still freakishly cold here. Holiday stuff very late this year. Finally succumbed to cold that's been going after everyone near me. I felt the tickle in my throat just as I was crossing the bay bridge to see Slumdog Millionaire with Natalia.
1) CBEST - Thanks for the good wishes folks. The testing conditions were actually vastly superior to any other standardized test I've taken. No more creaky high school desks, number two pencils, and teenage hormones filling the air. One of the benefits of the computer test is that they give your unofficial score on the math/reading right away, and I safely passed the very very low bar. Assuming I strung some sentences together aceptably on the writing, I'm all set. I don't think I can share the actual essay prompts since I signed some confidentiality business on pain of death, but suffice it to say they were slightly less lame. Actually, they were equally lame, but easier to answer. Think less coffee talk and more beauty pageant.
2) I finally put the finishing touches on my christmas mix (maybe in time to arrive in your mailbox by christmas?) My personal favorite addition is a cut from the only existing recording of Britten's Ceremony of Carol's as conducted by Britten. The funny thing is that it gets poor reviews all around (bad tuning, the Copenhagen kids have a thick accent) but I had picked it out as my favorite in a blind test of dozens of recordings available on itunes. There's just something about the crackly old recording and the way they scoop a little on the high notes in the round section is totally chilling.
3) And finally, the jam is here! All 201 jars of it. (Not including the dozens of jars I've already gifted/sold/consumed this year.)
With huge apologies to Richard, who whipped me up a lovely logo without me even having to ask, I couldn't get the idea of doing a vintage label out of my head. I photoshopped it out of this real vintage label.