Sunday, March 1st, 2015 06:32 pm
My apartment is filled with clutter.

I have hoarder genetics from both sides of my family; for as long as I've known myself I've been both lazy, preferring other things to cleaning, and possessive, wanting to hang on to things. But right now, all I can think about is how stupid everything is -- or how many reminders there are of things I can't do.

I have 22 bookshelves, many of them double-stacked, of books that just sit there collecting dust. Some of them, I have no interest in; particularly, books from college that were assigned reading, or books from the various book clubs that I've been in, or nonfiction book picked up at library book sales in case they ever came in handy. But mostly, the books sit unused, untouched, loved but unappreciated, because I find physical books to be hard to manage. Hardback books are heavy and unwieldy and generally don't like to stay open; paperbacks are often too small and therefore equally unwieldy; and regardless, I can't reach the shelves.

(I should hire help. Take everything off the shelves, see what all there is, sort out the things I don't want and the things I don't really need and keep only the ones that are important to me. Re-sort so that like things are together, so the books by the same author are together, so I can find things again. But no one has the time or the patience, and there is no staging area to work with.)

I have one bookshelf, double-stacked, of dvds. Half of them have never been watched. Some have never been opened. Some I didn't even want in the first place. (Long story, involving a very persistent DVD subscription service combined with depression and anxiety on my part that kept me from canceling for very long time.) Some are redundant, in that the content is now available streaming, although the redundancy proves useful if I lose Internet access without losing power. Still: I can't reach the shelf, I don't know that I can open DVD cases, and I know I can't reach the player.

(I don't even know what to do with these. Particularly the ones that realistically I know I will never get around to watching, but I still want to watch them, someday.)

I have one bookshelf crammed with yarn, and a TV tray with scattered yarn and projects. (Elsewhere in the apartment, there is: a garbage bag full of yarn in my room; at least one very large box in the hallway containing another garbage bag full of yarn; scattered bags with treasures of fiber secreted about in various places; a shoe box full of yarn, somewhere in the closet; multiple kits that never made much progress, including one for a penguin cushion cover, and one for a very pretty bag, and other things that I once wanted to make. There are half finished projects in zip lock bags and plastic bags and boxes and tins. Somewhere, there is a hiding place where my knitting needles and stitch markers have gone. But the bookshelf is always very visible in ways the other things aren't.) Except I am slow and clumsy and have nothing of the dexterity or precision that I used to have. I don't do as much with yarn as I would like to.

(I should collect everything and put it in one place and sort through it, keeping the yarn that I love and giving away the rest, despite the lure of " someday I might use it". That would also let me gather the ones that are in hank form, so that I can get them wound so that I can knit from them, because that is another element of the problem: I can no longer wind balls myself, so much of the good yarn is currently unusable for me.)

All that is just what I can see from here.

Somewhere in my apartment, there is a box full of cross stitch supplies, fabric and frames and thread and partially finished projects. I can't do cross stitch any more. I don't have the mobility or the dexterity. I miss it like burning and can't bear to let it go, but the knowledge that I can't do it and never will -- that the really ornate project will forever remain only 5/6 done, but the other kits I have from that designer will never be started -- I am reminded of that every time I see the box.

Somewhere in my apartment, there are art supplies, crayons and colored pencils and coloring books and drawing books and collections of mandalas and sketch pads, all of which I couldn't use even if I could find them.

Somewhere, there are blank (empty or half-filled) writing journals dreaming of words that will never touch them.

Somewhere, there is a small stash of fabric, from failed hand-sewing attempts. I can't sew. I can't even sew with a yarn needle and yarn.

Somewhere, there are origami supplies, battered books and half-used collections of paper.

I should get rid of most if not all of these things; find new homes for the parts others can use, throw away or recycle the rest.

I can't.

All I can do is hurt.
Sunday, March 1st, 2015 10:59 am
Sickness has felled us this weekend. My boyfriend got slammed with a stomach bug while I am battling the cold from hell. So far I haven't gotten the stomach thing, so here's crossing my fingers.

my February in fannishness )

Sunday, March 1st, 2015 09:29 pm

...that this March wasn't coming in much like a lion, but I suppose I could count the fact that my 15-days-late period started at 5am on the first...

Anyway. Classes resume tomorrow. I'm ready/not-ready. I did manage to put together a ppt my grade 2 teachers will like (they sent me pics of the pages of the book I'm to teach this week). And found a good version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. For the older kids, I found a fun version of 'Everything is Awesome' done with My Little Pony. I spent entirely too much time in sony movie studio slapping the lyrics in there big enough to read. (yes, ordinary subtitles are easier to make, but I have zero control over their size, or if they even work at all). Grades 5 and 6 are going to get to tell me what they did over the break and if there's still time, we'll review.

I just remembered something I forgot to pack in my bags. I haven't had to get up stupid early in over two months. I want to have as much done ahead of time as possible. I'd best go put those shoes in my bag now. (I keep a pair of regular shoes at school during winter and rainy season so I don't have to wear overly warm boots all day).

I think my annoying neighbors might be moving out, but I'm not sure. Loads of noise this afternoon sounded that way, along with the visual evidence of many muddy footprints. But now there are people hanging out on the landing and I have no idea. I really hope they're just locked out and waiting for whoever has the key. Really hope they go and are replaced by someone who doesn't leave cigarette butts in the common areas and other annoying habits.

I didn't leave the house again today. For the duration of break, I overall did pretty good at not staying too cooped up. Only here at the end, mainly since that awful day last week.

Tomorrow, back to a routine. Yay! I need to make changes in the afternoon portion of the routine, but I have a certain degree of confidence that I can make it happen.

Have I mentioned I moved my living room around? Now I need more pillows on the sofa. Or a new sofa (yeah, no). And a tv tray.... because now my tv is my computer monitor. Balancing keyboard on my lap with a clipboard as a mouse mat is a bit tricky.

Anyway, I think my brain's finally slowing down enough I can get some sleep. I had wanted to get to the reading in bed portion of the evening by 8, but that just did not happen. It just rolled 10. Hopefully the half-ambien I took will get me to sleep okay and let me get my day started without too much fog.

I'll talk about the fic I was supposed to have written before yesterday at another time. (I still plan on writing it. will be my first attempt at arthur/eames)

enjoy the rest of your weekends, y'all.

Saturday, February 28th, 2015 08:33 pm
I've signed up for the Adult hockey classes that start this week, but I'm also still doing the regular one on Sat with the kids since that ones a bit more basic and I still need to really work on my basics.

This week another girl joined the class which brings our total up to 4 out of 13 and a Mom talked to me before class started cause her daughters have seen us practicing and decided that they want to learn how to play too. How cool is that!

Today and tomorrow the sled hockey teams are playing. I didn't make it to their games today, but tomorrow I'm planning on going. It should be neat to see. The Mom of one of the girls in my hockey class plays, but I'm not sure if she's playing tomorrow or not.
Saturday, February 28th, 2015 05:40 pm
I have managed to stick to one short (2-3 mi or 3-5 km) bicycle ride most Saturday mornings and most one-weekday-I-don't-work mornings. Today I went a bit farther on an artificial errand for fish from the local Japanese grocery (darkforge could've bought fish via car, since he and Reason were out at the supermarket) because the next weekday morning is for being an informational interview resource for a slightly younger friend who wants to go from adjunct to uni staff. Whereas I walked the uphill bits the first few times---a short block apiece---today I didn't walk, though it's good that I'm keeping the rides short[*] because I want productive strain without outright cramping soreness. I still have to be a person and a parent and a household contributor and so on, despite this bike project.... The photo is from when I paused this morning, since I am building from subzero not only my bicycling muscles but general cardiovascular fitness:
If you click through to the larger version, it's not a huge hill, but it does go straight up; I turn at the pink X to go down up down to my house, or one may continue straight up for four short blocks (then down up down for a few more) to the nearest public library branch in a neighboring city. Note that we live technically in the lowlands, not the hills proper, if you know my vicinity already. Anywhere I go, it's up down up down, which kind of sucks for the subpar muscles of relevance. At least the clouds were pleasant.

* Look, I know it's unreasonable, but since I used to go fifteen miles with some frequency and topped out at 40 mi on hills (64 km)---even though that's 18-20 years ago---I am allowed to think that < 6 mi is wee, while wondering how long it will take to build back up to considering 8-10 mi (13-16 km) comfortable within a day. I embody multiple contradictions the rest of the time, so why not here. 8-10 mi is what I'll need for next school-year's commute with Reason, plus her wiggly 40 lb = 18 kg perched atop a bicycle that's probably twice as heavy as my old one. Also, this piddling effort would be so much harder mentally if I'd attained century status before having to sell my bike to prevent repeated reinjury nearly ten years ago; i.e., conversely, let me keep my contradictions.
Saturday, February 28th, 2015 09:24 pm
The blanket I am making is now long enough to wrap around me. I may never leave the couch.
Saturday, February 28th, 2015 03:20 am

I arrived at work to find unusually scant pickings in the way of parking spaces. I wound up wedging my car in next to a Jeep which was parked uncomfortably close to the line, who was in turn evading a shiny silver Lexus SUV (here I would say "of course", but my aunt drives a not-so-shiny silver one of those which is like at least 10 at this point) which was parked ... well, one of the tires was "on" the line, where by "on" I mean "also mostly over". So it certainly wasn't the Jeep's fault.

I hit lunch early because of the now-inevitable 1pm Thursday meeting. If it's not one part of the conference planning, it's another. On stepping outside, I heard a rushing noise, sort of like any one of the following:
* Niagara Falls at a distance of a quarter-mile or so
* A jet engine, slightly closer
* About a hundred distant and terrifyingly in-sync jackhammers
* A white noise generator, turned way up

It was a lovely day, though, so Purple's lunch table was out in the courtyard. It was such a nice day that Purple expressed the desire to sit on top of a mountain for a while. His not!boyfriend apparently gets tired of nature very quickly, and the concept "Is that all there is, just all these trees and this lake?" was floated, to much hilarity. So that was the main topic of conversation for a while.

Eventually someone mentioned the noise, and maybe walking down to see what was going on with it. Some people hadn't even noticed the noise (cue incredulity from the rest of the table).

The 1pm meeting was something to which I was able to contribute constructively. A note to all would-be presenters: I don't care if it's "just" five dozen pens, if you don't tell the logistics person about it, it's not going to happen. I am likewise vaguely unimpressed with the attempt to add a poster session without explicitly telling me what the plans are.

Following that was the team meeting, featuring some guy who canceled twice before being able to make it finally. The meeting was punctuated with 10 minutes of rapid-fire buzzing from my watch, in which the helldesk software dumped "an offensive load" of quadruplicate stale notifications into my inbox. I was Not Best Pleased.

I returned to find that radius had proposed a milkshake run. He and Purple converged on my cube, and we stomped up towards the milkshake dungeon.

Helldesk wasn't the only thing which was dumping: it turned out that the roaring sound was the local gas company venting some of their pipes, in either reaction to, or preparation for, something. We started out discussing that. And while I was a little caught up in my own bubble for it to register, Purple greeted someone he knew who passed us on the sidewalk.

One of the reasons I was caught up in my own bubble was that possibly while this was going on, I had caught sight of one of the security guards coming down the path that we were about to go up. Ordinarily this would be unexceptionable, except that this was the guy who I am actively avoiding. Since radius and Purple were already talking a mile a minute, and we'd scrunched ourselves into a somewhat more path-friendly configuration, they walked slightly ahead while I walked behind between them. I was aware that they were essentially in forward bodyguard position, and I looked Pointedly Elsewhere as the guy passed, although he was talking somewhat loudly on a headset.

This occasioned (also somewhat loud and probably audible to the guy as we passed) commentary from radius and Purple, about not super sensitive of mental health issues )

The sight of ravens on the upper cafeteria led radius to explain about the difference between North American crows and Australian crows: the Aussie crows are much, much ruder. That naturally led into a discussion of Craig Ferguson's flag-mouthed profanity replacement.

The guys aren't used to the vagaries of the elevator in this building. It's a double-sided elevator, with one door leading inside and one leading outside. We typically enter the elevator from the outside and exit from the inside door in the basement. In order that the rear door button works, however, requires a badge swipe. Generally I operate the thing, since I'm used to it, but Purple was closer this time.

We queued up to get our various ice creams. I'd neglected to take my lactose pills before stomping out the door, which situation I usually address by getting the lactose-free sorbets (lemon and strawberry are my favorites, though there are others I really enjoy too) but the chocolate and the vanilla looked very good. I comforted myself with the plan that I would eat them slowly and then take the pills when I got back to my desk.

Purple greeted someone. "So this is why you were in such a hurry!" he said, or words to that effect. Apparently there was some reason or other, but one of the things was that he was going in search of those little oatmeal cookies that are said to be in the break rooms, but in practice nearly never are (except in the Building of Conference Rooms) (except when they've been overrun with conferences). Stymied in his pursuit of cookies, he came for ice cream instead. Purple was amused.

We went outside to sit for a bit. There is asbestos in these here buildings. California law is at pains to let us know about it, and all of the main entrances have this very long URL on the windows, which presumably people are supposed to type in by hand. We comment on it basically every other time we see it. This time we got mired in server response codes. Then we walked back.

I popped in to see Madam Standards, and we wound up going over some of the party details together. She did a lot last year with the Commandant; this year she's heading up the party committee. She knows basically what she's doing, but appreciates cross-checking, especially when I tease out aspects of her ideas which she hadn't really considered. This one: a simple socializing hack using candy dishes.

Mr. Zune had shared the information about the llamas, and soon the dress also hit [off-topic].

My battle re: helldesk was interrupted by Researcher Carmageddon with actual research-related tasks for me. Hooray! So I did that, and then it was time to go home.

Purple walked me out as per usual. Since I've been a bit less steady on my feet these days than is quite normal for me (the extra steps may be getting to my knees) he has taken to walking with me to my car when I'm parked further out, just in case I need steadying (and because when we chat, that means I can lean on Vash). "Where are you?" he asked, when a quick peer around the parking lot did not yield the correct little white car. I was in the same column, just way down near the end, behind the van blocking our view. By this time, the Jeep was long gone, but the silver Lexus SUV was still there, still on over the line.

Purple was merrily talking smack about the parking job when the vehicle beeped. He peered around the thing to see someone approaching. "Oh hey," he said, to someone he obviously knew. Awkward! "He was the guy who passed us on the way up for milkshakes," he explained to me after the guy whizzed out of the parking lot. (It was the hour of departures, as a little white car across the way left within the same 30 seconds, and the van which had been blocking line of sight from Purple's car left within a few minutes also.) I shared my blueberries (I'd guessed wrong; I thought he didn't like blueberries, but it turns out it's pomegranates that he's not pleased with; generally he is in favor of fresh fruit) and we talked about surreal video game plots.

After not too long we headed off.

Still no update on the launderizer situation. I keep expecting to come home to find some sort of missive, but it has not transpired. On the up side, this is motivation to not let my housekeeping slip much during the week.

I was tired enough to go to bed without a formal writeup, though I had contemplated the idea of attempting to explain my day from my phone in bed. It turned out my tiredness had other ideas.
Friday, February 27th, 2015 06:45 pm
Via Eve's Alexandria:

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I don't. LibraryThing is for things I own, whether read or unread, and Goodreads is for logging things I read 90+% through (not for research-style hunt and peck). I have a list of texts that I'd like to find sometime, but it doesn't include things already found yet unread.

2. Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Read more... )
Friday, February 27th, 2015 06:33 pm
Leonard Nimoy passed away today.

I've shared this one before, and even though it's an ad, it encapsulates Leonard Nimoy the actor and his cultural role as Spock, who touched so many of our lives.

Also because it sums up the rest, Long Live by [personal profile] cosmic_llin

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