elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 12:39 pm
I've not been able to really sit and listen (read) your posts for the past few weeks: i miss it. After traveling and returning last Friday, i spent Saturday going over my scribbled notes from the air and reviewing satellite imagery on Google Earth trying to track down features. I learned about the "grand staircase," the layers of sedimentary rock that make up the strata of the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and so many features in between. I learned about a Navajo council, and about pig farming on a massive industrial scale i can't quite imagine -- even though i saw it from the plane. I'm not sure why i spent all that time on understanding. I could write an essay now, but....

(Last night we watched an interview with historical writer David McCullough. How did he get started? He saw photographs of the Johnstown Flood and was dissatisfied with the books he found on the subject. I however have Annals of the Former World by McPhee to read,)

Flowers are still languishing in the fridge.

Sunday my brother was in town. He and i drove to Mount Diablo, picnicked in Rock City, visited the peak, and circumnavigated on the short Fire Interpretive Trail.

Monday i overslept, and then got a call from my mother. She went into distressed mode about her and my father's relationship with my brother's family when i mentioned i'd seen him. I eventually said, "Surely this isn't why you called: what's up?" and she went into a bit of distress talking about my grandfather's wife, my grandfather's will, and the great MYSTERY of the will. I am currently the chosen one to ask for the will on genealogical grounds because ... I'm not sure what folks are afraid of.

I ended Monday feeling wrung out, after all day working on a presentation of the work I'd done in Ohio the week before. In the afternoon i'd had some nuts, got a bit stuck at the back of my throat, and triggered coughing spasms.

Those haven't stopped.

Tuesday i presented and then designed and then was exhausted. I came home wiped out, stopping at [redacted] for [redacted list of calorie laden fast food] on the way home. The calories were consumed before i got to the door.

Today is a work from home day, and once all the intensity was over (5 pm Eastern time) i've spent time reading the internet. I'm still coughing and feel under the weather.

I'm trying not to think negatively, but all that comes to mind was how last summer, from solstice into October, i limped, coughed, and generally felt a pervasive sense of unwell. Do Not Want.
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Saturday, March 21st, 2015 06:12 am
I've been thinking about how i rarely write poetry, so different from my younger years. I scribble still, scribbled for hours on the plane yesterday as i noted my observations with the time so today i can go find out a bit more about what i observed (confirming my guesses or not).

But it's not poetry.

I chatted with Christine about it. "If a picture is worth a thousand words...." "Photography is far more efficient...."

Yes, but, i thought, pondering that maybe i have decided my experiences are not remarkable enough to capture, not insightful enough to share. I hope it's that my expression is satisfied with photography, but i wonder if a change has happened. Maturity: when you realize that there isn't a need to share? When you realize the aches are not so bad? That the exquisite emotion is one of a million others?

This morning, waiting for my computer to start from its power-starved state, i walked to the bookshelf and grabbed a book of poetry, A Daughter's Geography from Ntozake Shange. Later, in the loo, i picked up Naomi Shihab Nye's Honeybee. Ntozake's words from 1983 still need to be heard. Naomi's witness to the violence in the middle east looses no poignancy when i realize she's not writing about last summer's violence.

But then there's a poem about Naomi's mother, baking, and i think of my mother working in a bakery too, in that flurry of empty nest, learn skills to escape, effort. Maybe poems about my mother is where my writing should be. I look at my sister's photos sent from Saint Patrick's day dinner and - oh, my parents look so old. But more than the aging that seems to have happened so quickly, is my emotional resonance with how my mother's face is stiff with the "I'm smiling for the camera" smile and her eyes have the tension and stress that never seems to ebb away. I don't think the camera communicates that outside of my history and experience. Words might. Maybe.
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Monday, March 16th, 2015 06:18 am
Friday was a rare "start the day at 6 am" day. I celebrate just how out of practice i am. I ended up reading a novel from when i stopped work into the evening, missing a number of plans, missing some meds....

Saturday i met a friend for brunch, which was lovely. We were having a quite unseasonably warm day, though, and the car was very warm as i ran errands afterwards. I wilted. At home, i just listened to an audiobook and (along with some time yesterday afternoon) brought a crochet project started AGES ago (is 2008 possible?) to DONE. It's a finished object! Woohoo! The sleeves are terrible, and i think it is about as unflattering as possible, but it's done. Next on my list is to finish a lace-weight sweater which is 98% complete.

OMG, Ravelry says "Started October 27 2007"

I suppose i should count this as a major victory. I've a great desire to finish projects up this year, and this is a good start.

Yesterday i cooked up some greens (kale, carrot tops, and spring onions) and then froze them for meals when i get back.

This morning started a little earlier than usual, thanks to feline misadventure, but since i am boarding a plane for Ohio mid-morning to head for a three hour time shift, i welcome the early start.

I've been dragging my feet all weekend on anything that looks like getting ready for this trip. I'm sure it will go well. I just want to stay home with Christine.
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 06:21 am
So far, looking at the photos from yesterday, i am mostly muttering "What WAS i focusing on??!!" but i think the answer is, "USE THE TRIPOD." There are landscape images that are not as crisp as i have managed in the past.

I did bring the tripod but left it in the car.

Almonds in bloom

Almonds are in California news for how much water they take to grow.

Goldfields in Panoche Valley

Panoche Valley was not covered with goldfields, but there was a lovely stretch with enough to create this image.



Next time i 'll be smacking my forehead will be as i face the flowers i collected and realize i did not document well enough where i took my samples from.

I'm building the trip notes up in Evernote, but in short it was a gloriously lovely trip. There was weather, downpours and sprinkles, as well as puffy clouds and passes of sunshine. I had thoughts not to visit the BLM Access Road area in Panoche Hills, and am glad we decided to head up there to use the picnic table. We didn't use the table, but the flowers were wonderful.

For the California photo list i wrote that we, "Found carpets of goldfields, some asteraceae bigger than gold fields but about the same color, hill sides with fiddlenecks and phacelia. Some were on Panoche Rd (a dirt road which was fine for our car when we were on it this morning), others up in the BLM areas off the Panoche Hills Access Rd before the picnic/overlook spot. Looked like there had been a terrific fiddleneck bloom earlier and many were fading, but other areas were still lovely. The hills were getting showers while we were there. Other flowers - lupines, blue dicks, cream cups, tidy tips, owl's clover other asteraceae, variety of native brassicas -- sighted. Between the hills and I-5 the almond tree bloom was lovely, with petals coating the ground under trees. Plenty of mustard along I-5 between Pacheco Pass and Panoche Hills."
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Friday, February 27th, 2015 07:12 am
Just read this trip report to Panoche Hills from last weekend. I'm expecting a day trip now, but getting down there is higher on my priorities now. Deciding when to leave is going to be the challenge.

What color is the dress? I can see both. I'm pretty sure there are a couple of effects going on, but i can look at it and have it change like the old woman-young woman optical illusion. I suspect there's something going on with color and brightness constanciesin that the dress is unfamiliar (and perhaps ugly), the lighting around it is ambiguous, and one can "read" the photo as the white and gold dress in the shade with a bright background or a blue and black dress over-lit under harsh lighting.
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Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 06:20 am
I am pondering heading to the Panoche Hills this weekend. It's a two hour drive. Growing up, that was nothing to my parents, and their plan would be to leave at 3:30 am to be there at dawn.

I've thought about that.

There's a hotel that's reasonable for California off I-5 near the hills, and we could drive down there late on Friday. That would provide some together time in the car with Christine and a little sense of "get away" along with the driving. The campground i've looked at is about the same for two people: it's a price that only makes sense if one is going to partake of the hot springs.

The author of http://naturalhistorywanderings.com/ has been posting flower observations from the Central valley and desert areas and it seems like the Panoche area might be ready.

I find myself balking, thinking of photos from Thursday on the coast as yet unprocessed, of closer places, of searching locally for the fetid adder's tongue (a lily that seems to be a target of searching by California flower photographers). On the other hand, it's not a particularly documented area online, but fascinating.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, February 23rd, 2015 06:57 am
Still not feeling entirely back, although it could be some combination of pollen and new glasses causing a mild tension headache, along with a sense of overwhelming commitments. I'm hoping today at work i can allay that with my organizational tools.

And i'm taking a moment to bask in the joy that work is not the source of overwhelming commitments at this time!

I don't understand why it takes me so long to get through my incoming email these days, although perhaps i am doing more Quaker business than i feel like i am. I barely have time to jot a journal entry and read any of your entries.

Off to the day! (yikes, late)
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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 06:56 am
Being back hasn't really meant being back to a regular rhythm yet. On Thursday i saw there would be a negative tide just before sunset, so we took a jaunt out to a marine reserve just north of Half Moon Bay. Friday there were a variety of errands to fill the morning. Yesterday was a day with Quakers in Berkeley, and then an evening gathering at the meeting house. I had plans for this morning, but i am going to Stay Home.

I'm slowly making progress on identifying some of the critters & growing things from the marine reserve (you can see notes at Evernote or iNaturalist

Starburst Anemone (Anthopleura sola)


I wonder how a bud feels before it unfurls. My brain is feeling too crowded to reflect. I have worries about Christine, experiences and information about issues of racism discussed at the gathering weekend and during yesterday;'s Quaker Heritage Day, opportunities for photography, and joining a co-op gallery and work.
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Thursday, February 19th, 2015 12:56 pm
Home: delighted to return to Christine, cats, my teapot, my laptop, and California weather. I had gotten to the point where 25 degrees was warm.

Friday night Burlington NJ 8 °
Snow overnight
Saturday Burlington NJ 32 ° | 12 °
Sunday Burlington NJ 19 ° | 6 °
Monday morning Burlington NJ Actual: 15 ° | 1 °
Left for Trenton to catch train to DC noonish
In Trenton until 4:45 pm 18 ° | 1 °
Arrived in DC Union Station around 7:45 20 ° | 10 °
Ft Belvoir, VA late that evening after white knuckle drive in the snow event by Dad on hwy 1. (Wager that the interstate would have been cleared but whatever)
Tuesday Ft Belvoir 29 ° | 13 °
Wednesday morning Ft Belvoir 34° | 11°

Meanwhile, i think it was in the 70s here in the bay area.

The Quaker gathering was wonderful, meeting [livejournal.com profile] songquake in person for the first time, and seeing people i've grown to know from the mailing list and previous midwinters. I've been involved with the community for seven years now and this is my fourth midwinter gathering. It is impressive what warm community we build over such time and space.

The time with Mom & Dad in the DC area was lovely, yet revealed their continued stress. In the language of trauma therapy, they trigger so easily and stay so activated. Mom's cognitive capabilities are concerning. The second morning at the hotel breakfast, when we were leaving, she asked if we needed to go up or down. Is she so distracted and inside her head that she hadn't tracked our movements for the past three rides in the elevator? Or had she forgotten? We napped and talked and took a small walk, which was probably far more relaxing than if we had gone into the city for museums and such.

I listened to the Mary Russell series episode, Locked Rooms on the way out, some evenings, and on the train south. Last night on the flight home i listened to The Language of Bees. It is particularly interesting to listen to The Language of Bees because the first Mary Russell novel i listened to was the sequel, The God of the Hive, in 2011. Since then i have been working up from the first in the series, set in April 1915, to this story of August 1924.

I am reintegrating home slowly.
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Monday, January 19th, 2015 06:38 am
My first week of launching the day had two scales of change to it: one was a more intentional way of spending time at the computer (an hour or more), the other was a bit more order and completeness to physically preparing myself (ten minutes or so). The shorter scale is going fairly well, in part because once i go to do one thing, the whole sequence is triggered. The longer reading and writing and planning time is not going as well. First, there's variation. I slept longer some mornings and there was one morning where Christine and i had to get the car to the shop earlier than my usual up-and-out. Second, it's hard not to do the email clean up of the many overnight emails of dubious value. There a sense of vanquishing the beast that comes with the clean up, but then i'm left with the real emails to digest.

I still feel the longer scale habit is a good intention, down to the ignoring the email. I think the shorter scale preparations for ending and beginning the day will become habits before i get a more solid habit with the mental preparations.

--==∞==--

I wish i had had the foresight to take today off instead of last Monday. It's both Christine's birthday and there are MLK observances. With work, just Christine's birthday fits.

On the other hand, last Monday i wasn't feeling well, so all's worked out.
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Sunday, January 11th, 2015 07:44 am
[livejournal.com profile] zyzyly wrote about nine things he does everyday, implying this was a meme. His was the first list that i saw. He first lists "poop," after noting that "not sure why everyone else who is doing this avoids the basic functions of human life." I have grown aware that some people are so regular that there is a singular event. For me, it's not as reliable.

1. Sleep. I definitely do this every day. In high school and college, i probably got six hours of sleep a night, at most. I have learned that getting eight creates a substantial difference and i wonder if my memories of such a hazy fog during high school were due to lack of sleep.

2. Eat. My meals can be pretty irregular, but i have not gone a day without eating. I am extremely susceptible to mood swings when I'm hungry.

3. Talk with Christine. There may have been some trips where our schedules and timezones didn't quite work out, but for years -- even when we lived apart -- i've at least talked to her every day.

Is the meme every ideal day? Or every day without fail?

4. Drink black tea. At home, i make a pot of keemun or a variety of blends: winter is a "noel" blend, spring has chocolate and spices, summer juniper and grapefruit, autumn has fruit and cinnamon. Traveling is a bit of a challenge as, other than my mother and sister, most folks aren't prepared for my tea habit. I'll bring my own tea in bags or with an infuser, as many places seem to think of tea as the caffeine free option. Or they will have heavily scented Earl Grey or just green tea.

5. Reflect and plan. Journaling or making notes in my daily log happens, not quite without fail, but close. Unfortunately i seem to do one or the other, but now always both, which jams up one of the works: i'm prepared but not clear (as journaling helps wipe a fog away) or clear but not prepared.

6. Take some stack of pills. This is ideal, because i can forget to take my antidepressants in the morning when i work from home, and i can bypass all the supplements and antihistamine in the evening when i am abandoning the day.

7. Brush my hair. I can't be sure when this happens. Sometimes my hair is braided when i sleep and stays in a braid. On weekends it might just stay in the braid. Odds are i have to rebraid at some point, then brushing would occur.

8. Brush my teeth. Again, i don't have a good time habit here. I drink my tea usually very first thing and so it actually relieves much of the overnight unpleasantness. I strive for twice a day. Woudn't swear it happens.

9. Read. I am pretty sure i read SOMETHING every day. Usually, i read much of the day: emails, articles, "social media", news, notes. My time management and my desires don't line up though, and generally there's more to regularly read than i have time for. So there's not one thing i read every day.

This was a curious exercise, reminding me that i fail southern ladyhood 101 as i never "put my face on" and only casually "make myself presentable" if i can get away with it. Working from home two days a week means making half myself presentable and even then, i know video quality is poor enough that there's only so much precision needed.

My awareness that i am lousy at time habits (pretty good at physical space habits, i think) is again underscored.

I believe that this coming year my mornings will not be so wildly irregular. I have resisted making a morning schedule out of the irritation of so many contingencies. Maybe now is the time to do so. Try to figure out how to fit everything in the morning, or at least rotate focus morning to morning (in the reflect, read and plan areas). There has been a reason my mornings have not been clockwork, but maybe now i can change that.

My evenings... oh, that would be good to plan out too. I abandon the day, a ship of potential that has failed me. Some times the day is merely taking on water, some times the day breaks up. I rarely feel i can moor the day at the dock and disembark with grace. Maybe i need to learn how to do that.
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Saturday, January 10th, 2015 11:27 am
The CIO visited this week. Apparently, my particularly vocal previous staff member had a meeting with him, raising the issues of the previous regime. This came up in the group meeting, where the CIO acknowledged the previous leadership hadn't led us well, said something about different styles, and then qualified with a, "not to say one style is better than another."

I so wanted to blurt, yes you CAN say one is better. But i didn't.

--==∞==--

Under the weather with a lousy head cold. Multiple days.

--==∞==--

My vacation begins as soon as we finish the install in Sydney tomorrow (3 am their time). Yay! To help me stay up until this midnight install for our east coast data centers, we watched "Reign over Me" which i found endearing. There are strong parallels with "The Fisher King," although it's far less manic.

... and i still didn't post. My new manager encouraged me to skip this morning's Sydney install, so i slept through. Sinus headache this morning.

But i'm on vacation!
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Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 07:33 am
Ministry out of the silence in Friends' worship has certain expected stylistic elements as well as stylistic elements that are derided by some. I roll my eyes at ministry that begins, "This morning on NPR, " or, "I read in the New York Times."

I was chagrined, then, when i found myself beginning ministry last Sunday with, "On Twitter this morning." Well, that wasn't exactly how i began, but it's close. I continue to carry concerns about the racial tensions with police and shared reading this story: https://storify.com/AtotheL/pregnant-woman-maced-in-delray-beach-fl . The point was that we are now able to listen easily to the stories that are being shared with us from those who experience oppression -- and that i am looking for how i am led to take my role in healing the brokenness.

I still only see that i need to listen and witness. I wonder about accompaniment: if we were to move into a house, should we buy in a neighborhood that is far more diverse? The obvious place to select would be excluded by my criteria that we do not buy anywhere that has obvious weakness due to sea-level rise or liquefaction during an earthquake.

I talk periodically with a woman in Meeting who is much more connected to the area social justice community. We've talked about this and both recognize that we need to be followers of black leadership, we need to listen.

We have had a police incident at the Meetinghouse this month, though, and so this may be where we need to do more than listen.
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Monday, December 29th, 2014 07:00 am
My new year is with my birthday in early March. I'm in a much better position to be optimistic then with the lengthening of the days and the greening of the year.

But in getting the piles of reminders for December and early January sorted, i ran across an e-workbook for preparing for a new year, spread out over four weeks. Given my life, spreading it out over eight weeks seemed wise.

It starts with wishing.

I'm not sure how good a wisher i am, but i wrote out wishes for different parts of my life, scribbling away with the digital pen on my iPad. I do like the combination of tactile with digital!

Wishing does lead me to some awareness of being thankful. I am particularly aware that i am delighted to find that Travelsmith makes dresses that are consistently sized and cut in a way that is both flattering and fits. I have been buying them for a couple years now (gifts from the catalog, and then filling in as dresses come in at my budget price of $20 on eBay). Pants have never fit me right, not when i was a skinny stick as a teen nor as my full figured self now. In general, I am very comfortable about my appearance.

Not my fitness level: the last half of the year was even more sedentary than before -- and i would have had to describe myself as sedentary then. But my ankles and feet are mostly happy these days, and i have no excuse to not walk. Christine's got the bike back and happy, so even if (when, please) we have another spate of rain, i should be able to exercise. (We have a stand that converts the bike to a stationary bike.)

--==∞==--

One of the gifts received this year was Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi. I am not very good at following recipes, usually with acceptable results. Last night's attempt at making turnip dumplings inspired by the parsnip dumplings was as disaster. The first fail was not recognizing how important it was for the batter to be stiff and to follow the direction to steam off water from the mashed veggie. I made another fail by folding in crepe batter: this was also far too runny.

Even after adding much more dry mix, the batter seemed more fluid, like cake batter, than stiff, so i poured it all into a pan and baked it. I think i have turnip bread now. And it needs salt.

OK, overconfidence in the kitchen has now been adjusted to an appropriate level of humility.

Leek fritters are next from the cookbook.
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Sunday, December 28th, 2014 08:11 am
This morning's spam seemed like an interesting new tack:

From: FBI
Date:2014/12/28 01:40 (GMT-08:00)
To:
Subject: $

I AM HERE TO SEE THAT YOU GET ALL YOUR LOST MONEY THAT YOU SENT TO SCAMMERS,EMAIL BACK TO US NOW FOR IT


I have cleaned off much of one of my digital desktops yesterday and this morning (My Evernote tickler tags and incoming "notebook"). I don't know how valuable it is as sometimes i feel like i just put a two month tickler on everything to think about later. I have gotten pretty good at putting in delete dates to things, though, so there's hope that i will put an end to things that just never turn out to be important enough.

This is one of the woes of "getting organized:" i have a record of things i thought might be worth doing and the natural erosion of memory doesn't delete them for me.

Off for coffee with friends and then to Meeting, where i hope i feel led to, at least, read social justice queries. If i am led to ministry about the visibility of oppression and a call to awareness, i hope i will hear and act.
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Friday, December 26th, 2014 06:59 am
Christine is calling to order the flowers for her sister-in-law's memorial, which will be tomorrow.

Back to work today, with news of a preproduction install process that has screwed up that system. I am appreciating my new role as a team member not leader: i can help today, but the person who took over my role is in on Monday. All of this is in his lap then. There will be Kerfflufles over this, and I am delighted not to have to sit in them and hold my ground. The new release manager will, perhaps, attack the screwed up system.

I presume i will be continuing with the consultants who are so distant from their deadline, but the document promised for the end of Christmas Eve has not arrived yet (from a person who, when i expressed regret that he wasn't on the west coast with more hours in the work day to go, replied "It's not my holiday").

We had lovely sunshine yesterday and walked in the baylands, delighting in the bird life. One of my favorite birds are ruddy ducks, which seem like big ducklings. Their dives are so effortless and elegant.

We talked about my current experience of anhedonia, and Christine reminded me of the Sunday before Thanksgiving, when i began to feel the emotional drain of my work as the responsibility left me. She reminded me that i observed that the recovery from my previous role would take time, and this need to rest, to sleep is probably part of that recovery.

I think a moment about when i left graduate school and took a system administration job. I could tell then, too, that i needed to recover. And i did.

Patience.
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Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 06:15 am
These grey short days feel so unusual. I am allowing myself more rest, more rest, and wonder if i will ever be rested. I remember some years ago when i allowed myself a winter season of saying "no," a season of not making decisions. That was such a valuable rest: i recall the clarity on the other side, how some decisions seemed obvious when before that season i was wrestling with them.

Yesterday wasn't grey, and i was back in in the office after a four day weekend. The southern exposure of our offices and the single paned glass make for a sauna experience and the blinds stay closed. It looks like we will have bright weather for the next few days. I have, however, volunteered to work Friday. There's a project in a tizzy, behind schedule, major kerfluffle, and there has already been an incident of calling people while they were on vacation for support. (My four day weekend was unmolested.) I think the project is doomed by fluffy thinking; yesterday's meeting was marked by me asking questions to which the answers seemed to be "um" and "huh."

Ah, but folks don't give up. So i'll work Friday instead of go on a road trip. I'll go on one soon.

--==∞==--

I've gotten out for walking the past few days - YAY. Please little baby habit, hang in there. And i'm trying to use the "conditions of enoughness" responsibly. Not over plan and fail to complete, as i have been. Last night, since we went out to eat with a friend, the COE was to walk while the delicates ran through the wash cycle. And Christine was right, if i had had to wait for the dryer cycle of another load, it wouldn't have happened.

Housework thoughts )

--==∞==--

When we saw my NC nephew at the beginning of the month, he was designing his own board game. Christine told him about dice beyond the six sided choice, and he was wowed. The obvious choice then was to get him dice for Yule, which led to a purchase of the introductory D&D set. I had bought the D&D books when they came out, but i had no one to play with as a teen. Christine did have friends. This year, as i muttered my teen angst, Christine said, "Hey, is this a hint you've been dropping all these years?" We've rolled up two characters for me and have started on the quest from the first edition of the game. I'm not playing the characters i would have played as a teen: i'm playing two very young dwarves for whom naive is not strong enough a term. Christine is rather amused.
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Thursday, December 18th, 2014 02:36 pm
Tuesday was the promised meeting and announcements to wrap up the reorg -- but not quite. Apparently the current date is 5 Jan to make things official. (I typed "5 June" and then "5 Jul" before getting the date right. At least, i hope it was a typo and not prescient.)

Last night was the first night since my Sunday back spasm that i had a solid night's sleep. I awakened quite early, but it was on my own instead of after hitting snooze for 40 minutes.

Spent the morning sorting out morning commute options with caltrain & shuttles. I want to start taking them next year (maybe a few times the remaining work days). With the new job, new habits.

I'm a little frustrated with my low energy, but between the depth of the winter night and a few physical issues, i will not write off my hope that i will have more energy with the change in job.

...
Approaching death and various illnesses of family members )

So that all weighs heavily in these grey wet days. I welcome the wet, the dramatic clouds, but it certainly cuts into my energy.
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Sunday, December 14th, 2014 08:01 am
The failed install on Friday night still weighs on me. On the other hand, we had a delightful Yuletide yesterday, going to the San Francisco Wholesale Flower Mart. This is where there are dozens of vendor booths bringing greenery and flowers into the city. I imagine hotel and other venue buyers and florist shop buyers fill the place in early hours during the week. On Saturdays, it is open to the public.

We have breakfast at Bechelli’s Flower Market Cafe then wander looking for a wreath for over our fireplace/video monitor. Small ones, just the right size for your door, are bargains, as are all the snowball hydrangeas, cyclamens, and poinsettias you could want in all sizes.

I saw some wonderful, but not holiday appropriate, wreaths made of lichen encrusted bare branches. We liked them for their architectural qualities, but we agreed we wanted greenery. After walking store fronts noting the choices of magnolia leaves and conifer branch based wreaths, we went into the vendor booths and found this magnificent wreath. The guys who were making these wreaths between helping customers offered two prices, one 20% higher than the other. Christine blanched at the lower price which was a bit higher than i was expecting, but not by much. My memory is that we bought much more plain wreaths in previous years, and it has been YEARS since we bought a wreath. This one doesn't even need a bow, it is so decorated with sprays of various berries and cypress seed pods. I love the contrast of the grey green conifer with the gold-backed green magnolia leaves.

Over breakfast Christine had noted our usual source for fruitcakes was closed for renovations this year: could we find a California source? Some searching on my phone turned up sellers in Napa and Sonoma, but they were all mail order. Then i found a news article about California Fruitcakes (with some editorial and authorial debate at the beginning about who was the California Fruitcake) and discovered a bakery in San Francisco which made them. So after our wreath choice, i managed NOT to buy any other plants (theres a blooming cyclamen and cactus on the deck and the Lenten rose has buds). We wrangled a route through the Castro and Cole Valley to the Inner Sunset and Arizmendi Bakery (http://arizmendibakery.com) where we acquired two smallish fruitcakes. Then we cruised through Golden Gate park to the ocean, where we sat and watched some waves for a while.

We'd bought pizza slices as the bakery, but the garlic was far to potent for Christine. As she exclaimed with wonder that anyone could stand such an overdose, i reflected on her fondness for pepper and chilies - and the chili she made in the evening provided a point in illustrating the possibility to over do other spices with delight. Since she didn't want her slice, i ate them both, sharing a bit with the gulls and a raven.

In the late afternoon, we went to a gaming store in Santa Clara to pick up the D&D introductory set for a nephew.

All in all the day was delightful, with happy energy for both of us.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, December 13th, 2014 06:38 am
So last night was an install, first one shepherded through by my new manager. It was helping him prepare that provided me with distractions and nagging worries through the week.

And we had yet another challenge-to-test integration failure with an external organization last night.

And so the software hasn't gone in.

And i am bummed about it.

(And of course i procrastinated in the afternoon.)

--==∞==--

One of my many Philistine moments was at the Grand Canyon years ago. I believe i referred to it as a big ditch. *cough* Well, in captioning this timelapse video of clouds filling the grand canyon USA Today refers to it as a deep ravine.

At least i had the excuse of sleeping on rocks the night before and a day's drive from Los Alamos before that.