December 30, 2005
Happy New Year!
I am so underwhelmed by this cold/flu/crud that I have. I'm wussed out fulltime, and I really want to remove my sinuses. Would that help? Please? So I really haven't been doing anything interesting, other than obsessing about knitting and octopi and wishing I could be biking.
Oh, and I signed up for a race, a 10K, next weekend. Just to get warmed up. They serve pancakes afterwards, which is always a draw.
In spite of getting a layoff notice in November, I'm still employed, though it looks like I might be going part-time in a couple weeks. That's always exciting.
This morning, I decided I'd devote 15 minutes to housecleaning. An hour later, I was still at it, and had to pull myself away. I have two goals: one, that if folks drop in, that our house will looked lived-in, but not like a overpopulated paper sanctuary; and two, that we can bring Daphne, my beloved outdoor cat, inside (she eats fabric. And plastic. Loves towels and clothing.)
My goals, briefly and not concrete:
1. Get the house under control, and keep it under control
2. Get the yard under control, and keep it under control
3. Get in a good bike ride or walk every week
Happy New Year!
December 29, 2005
And that's kinda hard. What have I accomplished this year?
I mean, I've made great strides in the last couple months, but that sort of wisdom-gaining isn't something that you can put in an xmas letter. Or it's not one that I feel comfortable writing.
I feel like this year, in some ways, has been a failure. I've quit walking, and I haven't lost any more weight. Looking at last year's New Years Resolutions, well, it's scary. Or is it?
Here they are:
- # Weight-loss: Aim for a consistent, conservative weight-loss of a pound and a half a week (6# per month): 72# by 2006!
- >>> Nope, didn't happen. I did get down to a size 20, and on good days, I'm still there. (It should be noted, however, that the week between xmas and new years is made up of not good days)
- # Walking: I'd like to drop 2 minutes a mile. I'd like to do a PR with a 12 minute mile.
- >>> I didn't get anywheres near that. But I did better my time in the half-marathon (by 25 minutes!) and marathon (by 8 minutes). My best chip time was 15:07 compared to 14:32 in 2004.
- # Other exercise: I'd like to work on balance, shape and strength. I need to work on strengthening the balance of my right side. I'd like to walk or bike to work three days a week. I'd like to weight-lift twice a week. I'd like to do two group classes a week. I'd like to do a decent bike ride once a month. I'm planning on some sort of workout 6 days a week.
- >>> Mixed. I was pretty good about pilates through the spring. I probably walked to or from work less than 5 times last year. But I did lots of bicycling. Gym, eh, not so much.
- # Professional Development
- >>> Going to see the career dude has been a big wakeup call about what I'm passionate about, and what I'm good at. I've gained confidence, and excitement about learning
- # Home: I'm tired of living in a place that I feel embarrassed to have drop-in guests at. I will use a limited version of flylady to try to control clutter and filth in my home. Pretty straightforward: pick up after myself. Don't let clutter happen, and when it does, attack quickly.
- >>> This has been back and forth, but I feel like I am beginning to make a dent, finally.
It's been an interesting year. I'm feeling so much better lately. I just need to get back into it.
December 27, 2005
a little plumbing
This really was a lovely weekend. Our xmas day was so lovely, full of eating and cooking and cleaning. On Boxing Day, like the rest of Portland, we called the plumber so we could run the kitchen sink and dishwasher again.
Of course, everyone was on holiday rates. And holiday schedules. In spite of biannual visits by one rooter company or another, the one we called insisted that all of our kitchen plumbing was out of code, and needed to be replaced before anything could be rooted. The drain technician gave us a $900 estimate, and then Sweetie overheard the plumber on the cellphone saying that his truck was dead. So we begged off making an appointment with said plumber, since it was clear that he wouldn't be coming today.
So we started calling other companies. Sigh. I was a little traumatized. Replacing plumbing. Of course, it's out of code, this house was sold for back taxes 20 years ago. This was a house that was built cheaply a hundred years ago, a house built on a thousand shortcuts. And to make this a little worse, I know that Dad had redid some of the kitchen plumbing (you think it's outta code now? You should have seen it when I bought the place!). But while I am mid-freakout, Sweetie is making the calls, and arranges for another rooter company to come by.
They came by. The plumber (they sent a plumber!) mentioned that the plumbing was out of code, and at some point should be replaced. However, the problem was this join here, and he could replace that and snake it the line for $150, and we should be all set. And so it was. He was speedy, nice, and aware that our escape artists needed to stay out of the basement.
And so it was that our kitchen is functional again. The lesson learned is this:
- Mom wasn't kidding about the garbage disposer - you gotta run the cold water for about a minute after you turn it off
- Don't put starch down the drain. No pasta, rice, potato peels, etc. Remember library paste?
- You can't assume that the plumbing work wasn't done by some dead beloved relative of your client, so maybe you shouldn't be harsh.
- If something is going to fail, it's when it's been stressed. Like when you spend multiple days doing dishes, and a day cooking enough for an army.
Once I got over the trauma of home maintenance, I got back into decluttering and dunging things out. Which was great. Can't wait to get back to it!
December 25, 2005
Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it!
So far, this has been my best xmas ever. Friday and xmas eve was spent cleaning and decluttering. I've filled the trash can, filled the back seat of the car (for stuff to go to charity) and filled maybe five bags of paper recycling. And haven't made a dent. But it has been tremendously satisfying.
Yesterday I was just so excited. I don't recall ever being so excited about xmas. But hey! I got some cool things for Sweetie, and for my mom, which I couldn't wait for them to open. And more importantly, I decided that I was going to have a good time. Damn it! And I did.
This is significant, as xmas has always been a hard time for me. It seems to be all about family histronics, and my intense, profound desire/revulsion for more connection. Maybe being consciously aware of what's going on is helping.
Today, we have a dim sum in a few hours, and then Sweetie and I will make a pile of food, and have a couple of close friends over to eat it. I'm excited, I love having people over.
Lots of stuff has been percolating over the last couple days. Good stuff. I'm feeling optimistic!
We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.
— Helen Keller
December 22, 2005
Housecleaning. Housecleaning. Housecleaning.
I wore my favorite handknit hat yesterday. It's based on the Knitty pattern, Coronet and I knit it with two strands of Brown Sheep's Handpaint Originals in Cranberry (a solid) and Strawberry Patch (a red-purple varigated). I wore it yesterday and felt proud as a peacock.
This morning, I go looking for it because I want to wear it again, and poof, it's gone. I have a place for hats and gloves, a central location, but I didn't put it there because it was wet. Now, what the hell happened to it? Did the dog steal it? Or did I just... misplace it?
My frustration was intensified when I had to go turn off Sweetie's lamp, and had to move two things to get to it. In moving his rolling table, a bunch fell off onto the floor. After I turned off the lamp, I tripped over his shoe and almost went flying into the TV.
I'm sure my mood isn't helped by having a hangover, from drinking too much too quickly at a party because I got nervous. Or that I was in 5 hours worth of meetings yesterday at work. Or that I've spent, umm, too much time on a googlemap, only to find out that it's only working in Firefox and not at all in Internet Exploder.
But I'm trying to keep my eyes on the end of the tunnel. I am taking tomorrow off, to clean house and grocery shop. It will be a four-day weekend. Hopefully, xmas eve won't be too traumatic, and xmas day will be spent with close friends. I am really pleased about what I got for Sweetie this year, and hopefully he'll like it. Better yet, only one gift hasn't arrived.
December 20, 2005
I was in high spirits this morning. I got some stuff done at home, and I came into work and did some stuff, and I rode the bus in with an old favorite driver. Look at me go! And then I thought about xmas day, and the fact that I had told some folks I was making dinner... and the fact that Sweetie and I haven't talked about it since. And the fact that we moved all of our junk out of the living room... into the dining room.
So I very tip-toedly wrote the email, saying, hey, I'll take responsibility for everything, I know it's a hassle and last-minute and all that, and I'll bend over backwards, etc., etc. And maybe an hour later, he calls, and says it's okay, though it's unspoken that he's seeing this as a ton of work and quite possibly a big drag.
And so any mania I might have felt, any momentum, it's gone.
And then I have the sinking feeling. The thought that, um, would anyone come over on December 25th anyways? Maybe I've just asked for an unnecessary favor, maybe I've freaked us both out over nothing.
But hey, what are the holidays but a brilliant time to freak out about nothing? Or everything?
I'm making my mom's cat a holiday collar. Yep, I'm aware that it won't get there in time, and yes, I'm also aware of the silliness of knitting a cat collar out of expensive chenille, but the idea got laid in my head and hatched, and there it is. The rule in my family is that xmas presents have to be there by xmas—which I suppose is reasonable—so why do I continue knitting this collar when it isn't going to make it there? Oh sigh.
I am just aching to start something new. I'm tired of the basketweave dish towel, the thought of ripping out the scooter gloves is heartbreaking, and then there's the collar. Boring!
December 19, 2005
not snowed in
Well, yes, I do know what's worse, and that's that the snow is gone. I had really hoped for a snow day to continue with my manic decluttering/cleaning/rearranging.
The weather guy had said freezing rain, and that's all I had my hopes set for. Freezing rain on Sunday night. But as I was getting ready to run downtown yesterday, I noticed that we were getting sleet, as the rain was making a thumping noise as it hit the house. Almost immediately, I got a call from a cow-orker, who was hoping for a snow day. And then I looked outside, and the ground was white. Wuhoo!
Sweetie came home from hanging with one of his brewing friends, and we agreed that we were probably going to be snowed in for days and that we should run to the store for snacks and beer. Driving to the store was not too big of a deal. An hour, a full shopping cart, and, well, let's just leave it at that, we were ready for anything. Driving back home was a little more exciting, and a little more time-consuming, with slippery roads and people driving like they had never seen snow before. And maybe they hadn't.
We get everything inside, everything necessary to do a lot of baking, make all manner of tacos and comfort food. and we put it all away, and then settle onto the couch (new! just like adults!!) looking out the window at the goosedown flakes coming from the sky.
I call my mother, who is in the great white north, and has some 8" on the ground now, and she, of course, is unimpressed. If I like snow so much, why don't I move home?
But that's the thing. I like snow so much because we never have it in Portland, and generally, because the city shuts down when we get some. It's like the whole city goes on holiday. (Well, everyone but essential services, and trimet drivers—no holiday for them). The news preempts all tv programming, with Storm Team coverage, and some poor rookie reporter is stuck in Troutdale, being practically blown over by the gorge winds and the vicious, vicious snow.
December 16, 2005
Let it snow!
I know that every day I whine about how cold it is outside, and every day its worse than the last. Dunno what to tell you about that. It's true, damn it! When I left the house this morning, in my usual I'm-a-cyclist-incognito gear, it was in the 20s. Two-zero. Brrr!
I learned some things. N0rdstrom Rack makes these knee-highs, nylon/acrylic or some such, and they have amazing stretch—large enough to cover my ginormous calves. So I put them on this morning, with my newish thin leather boots, which meant I could feel my frozen and detached toes rolling around in my boots as I rode to work.
I also learned that if about half of the xmas presents for my mom are at work, I can fit the other half AND all 6 rolls of wrapping paper in my panier. Boy, I bet I looked festive pedalling like the worlds slowest slug.
Last night, and this morning, the Steel Bridge pedestrian bridge has been closed. A person invariably learns this when they are right on top of the damn thing. I know, lots of cyclists like the Eastside Esplanade better than the Tom McCall bicycle parkway, but I have one word for you, for what the Esplanade is not: F-L-A-T. So I huff and puff up and down the dorky little hills. Yeah, I should kept biking, I've lost all conditioning, I know, I know. Don't I know!
And then I'm crossing the Hawthorne Bridge. It got restriped recently, so peds and bikes have separate lanes. Sorta. So I'm trying to stay in the cycle lane, which seems ridiculous given that no pedestrians are crazy enough to be walking across the bridge, and Trimet buses are whisking by a mere foot away. And meanwhile, cyclists are calling out, on your left, and flying by me, and then moving entirely over to the right, to the pedestrian lane. So I started counting. There was exactly one other cyclist who stayed in the bike "lane". This whole obeying the law thing is a drag.
December 15, 2005
a bit of a tiger
Yesterday, I had a ton of energy to burn off. Over lunch, a cow-orker and I went to the grocery and bought three bags of groceries for the Oregon Food Bank. I was so happy I practically danced the rest of the afternoon. And, for the first time in recorded history, my floor has brought in the most food. Incredible.
After laying in bed not able to sleep last night, I decided that I need to get more exercise. Didn't I decide that previously, recently? Oh, yeah, I did. So this morning in a show of, what, I'm not entirely sure of, I was out early, pumping up the tires on the bike, installing a new light (which tried to commit suicide, thank you very much, on 15th Street), and adding the tire sparx onto my tire valves.
Once everything was done and said, I turned on the battery-opped xmas lights on my bike basket and headed in. And damn, it was cold.
December 14, 2005
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow.
—Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
All wound up!
photo by Amy Goodman
Since Sweetie is sick, I picked up chinese food last night. I've been on this, umm, quest, to check out little divey chinese places, and there is always this enduring hope that one of these places is going to have great food. Sadly, sometimes these places have good items, but...
So last night, I went to the neighborhood chinese fast food chain. It was much cheaper than any of our neighborhood places, but part of that has to be that there are less crunchy things like crab puffs and pot stickers, and, I think we just plain got less food. Everything we got was a little sweet, but otherwise, it was on par with what we get from our neighborhood joints. How thoroughly disappointing.
Today is the last day of the work food drive. Our local food bank is very very low, and so this morning, when I should have been getting ready for work, I was going through our cupboards. I ended up assembling 2 full grocery bags and then it was obvious that I wasn't going to be taking the bus. So, I took the scooter.
Getting two full grocery bags into the scooter was no big deal at all. I put about 3/4 of a bag under the seat, and about 1/2 a bag into the little box on back, and the other partial bags, I captured with a motorcycle bungy net and strapped down to the seat.
I hadn't ridden the scoot since Friday, so I was all giddy. Other than hitting a patch of ice, it was big fun.
So, how do you keep warm on a scoot when it's 28 degrees outside? Well, um, part of you has to be resigned to be cold. I should have worn long underwear under my dress pants, as well as knee high wool socks and my boots. But I still would have been cold.
My top half was closer to toasty though. I wore my Corazzo hoodie. On my hands, I had my special wrist-length fingerless gloves* under a pair of driving gloves with thinsulate. On my head and neck, I wore my silver scooter scarf over a turtle fur balaclava**.
At the slug velo fall colors ride, he was wearing a cool pair of striped arm-warmers... which had started out being socks with a couple strategic holes cut in them. So, because I'm obsessed with wool, and knee-high socks, I look at the socks at g8dwill, and there are toe socks. Dude! For $1.57!
I got them home, cut the tips off the big toes, slit the little toes, eh voila!—the cheapest fastest special wrist-length fingerless gloves EVAR!. And while they are 100% acrylic or nylon or some such, they are make a huge difference in how my arms feel. I can't wait to get my wool gloves done, now!
December 13, 2005
This is when we need Chinese food delivery
Well, all good things, like 4 day weekends, must come to an end. I'm having a hard time really getting going this morning.
Yesterday was lovely. A nice combination of leisure, cleaning and decluttering, going to that republican stronghold, T@rget, more cleaning, decluttering and decorating, reading about knitting, eating some lovely food, drinking some lovely beer. In retrospect, the only way it could have been better was if I had drank a bit less.
And so, imagine my distress when I wake up at 4:30 in the morning and the bed is shaking. No, not an earthquake. It's my beloved, having the worst, most violent, case of shivers I have ever seen. Poor guy. This is the third time he has been feverish this fall, and I wasn't sure if I should make him some hot lemonade or take him to the ER.
I made him some hot tea, turned up the heat, got him downstairs where we actually have heat (!), and bundled him up. As expected, he was soon up close and personal with Echo, and acting as a perch for several cats. I really wanted to stay home and dote on him.
December 12, 2005
It's been a great weekend. Four beautiful days.
Friday was a meeting with career guy. Afterwards, I settled into my new habit of a cup of Joe and an egg sandwich and writing about the stuff that came up. I made a list of the stuff I wanted to do this weekend: wool sweater, RE1, mirador, the wide shoe store, yarn stores, the fat girl consignment place, g8dwill.
As you know, I'm a bit fixated on wool right now. I think I'm as cold as I usually am in winter, what with my drafty house and my drafty office, and my intense desire to get around on two wheels. I went through all my sweaters, and I have a lot of them. I have exactly one that has any wool content at all: and it's my three-sizes-too-big cashmere sweater (which I love, love, love). It's moth-eaten. And I wear it almost every day around the house, on rides, etc. It's embarrassing, it's so huge and holey. I could patch it, I think about patching it, but that wouldn't help the fact that it's so huge.
There's a g8dwill on the way home, so I stop there. I used to love thrifting, I used to do a lot of it, but it's just one of those things that's fallen away in the last few years. I spent quite a while there, looking for wool sweaters. I came away with a pair of new toe socks, three wool sweaters, several work tops, and several sweaters for Echo. It was great!
I then went home, did some cleaning, and then had a great long nap.
In the evening, we went to a friend's restaurant, and learned she had split from her husband in the couple of months that we hadn't been in. Scary stuff. After that, we went to RE1 and spent my dividend—yay, wool socks and turtle fur!
Saturday, we went to a smokey dive for breakfast: too smokey in fact. And then to mirador, which was too incensey. Both of our heads were swimming. We went downtown to do a factfinding mission around the corner of 5th & Couch—checked out Backspace, this absolutely cool, cool coffeehouse-hangout-gaming-internet thingee. Oh, and pool. Next door is the goofy japanese kitsch store where we bought cool little tinpos. And then next door to that is the retro video and pinball arcade. Too much fun!
That evening was dinner at our favorite place with friends. (Yayyyy!!!!!)
Yesterday, Sweetie and I did a great journey to the west suburbs! We went to a yarn shop in the middle of nowhere (the last time I was there, there was nothing but the run-down Mad Greek Deli and a run-down tavern, and now there's one of the "village" centers and the run-down Mad Greek and tavern), then to a furniture outlet store, and then to the larger version of the store we had decided to buy from.
It's funny. At this point we really had a vision for the new couch. It couldn't be leather because the cats might destroy it (and for a dozen other political, aesthetic, etc reasons). It couldn't be this, and it couldn't be that. And once you argue out all these options, walking through the store and making a selection is pretty simple.
So we sat on a bunch of couches, including the one that we had previously chosen and if it could have been delivered last week, we would have in our living room already. And then we saw The Couch. The Topaz. An apartment couch, so shorter. In dark grey microfiber. And it will be delivered on Saturday. Saturday! I am such an adult!!
I spent the rest of the day occassionally blurting, I bought a couch.
Today? Breakfast soon. Some walking, hopefully. Gotta dig in and do some cleaning. Some knitting. Some working on the guide. Just some general, I decide what I'm doing. It's great!
Last night, I dreamt I was moving out of my dorm room. You know, my dorm room for library school, the thing I did online. I had so much crap in that room it was incredible. It was me, my dad, my mom, my sweetie, and others, going through all my stuff.
My father would look at me, exasperated, and say, Vicki, why do you have all this crap? How many sets of dishes do you need?
And all through the dream, we were going through stuff. Friends from school would drop by, and would be amazed at how well I did in school in spite of all the stuff I had stuffed in my dorm room.
They worked by my side, all day long. All my stuff, exposed to the air.
I woke up and all I wanted to do was clean. I filled a grocery bad with paper, a filing box with records (probably about 200), a giant plastic bag with clothes.
My dad doesn't make appearances in dreams all that often, so I expect this is important. I need to pare down. I've wanted to. He's willing to help.
December 7, 2005
Everything I know (about myself) I know through my knitting.
The new Knitty is out. I'm so excited. One of Jess Hutch's little creatures is on the cover, and there are other fun things to knit. An article called Scarf Psychology talked about how you approach your knitting says a lot about you. Well, d'oh!
This is the way it works. I get an idea in my head. Or I am checking out some knitting patterns, and so I decide to make one. So let's assume that I decide to follow a pattern. But I can't. I just can't. The pattern calls for linen, but I want to make it out of kitchen cotton. So I knit the gauge (a 4" square piece) to figure out how many stitches, I need. Brilliant.
Now that's an example of something that actually works out well. I compare the swatch I have to the swatch in the pattern and do the math to bring it down (or up) proportionally. That's no big shakes, but I'm always surprised that everyone doesn't do that.
But let's look at an example of something that isn't working as well. I decide to make fingerless elbow-length gloves from the finger down. But I've misplaced my pattern for gloves from the finger down*, and my pattern is actually for full gloves, not fingerless ones, so I just make it up as I go. But, umm, they don't look right, and then I'm stuck. So, I haven't even finished the first one and I'm already thinking that once I get a second pair made, I'm gonna rip these ones up so I can remake them and do it right this time.
So. I can't conform. My planning is lousy. And with something like this where I'm really winging it, the imperfections really bug me a lot—I want to go back and do it again perfectly.
I've been thinking (note: not actually doing) about actually writing patterns. Yeah, that'd make me plan! That'd show me!
Anyways, I think it's clear that developing my planning skills would be A Good Thing TM, as there is a lot of my life that I'd just like to rip out.
Part of me doesn't trust my own knowledge. Part of me wants to compulsively check things over and over.
It would be easy to say that I'm lazy and undisciplined, though that isn't always true. I can be quite disciplined and quite hardworking, and I'd argue that those characteristics are true much more of the time for me that the previous. But still, I don't show the forethought that might be helpful in somethings. Perhaps related to not being able to see myself in 5 years?
* With most things, you can from the top or from the bottom. With sweaters, you generally knit from the top. With socks, from the top. With gloves, from the wrist. There are published exceptions to the first two, but I'm still waiting to see a published pattern for gloves from the fingertips down. I took a class and learned how to make them about three million years ago, and the written directions the instructor gave were fantastic... if only I could find them.
Trees of many colorsSalmon Street Death March with the usual suspects, then went to Bike Gallery to get some bike lights, and then to Santaland at Meier and Frank.
Santaland used to be this big room that had a monorail for little kids. The kids glide above the room, above Santa and their families and the giant miniatures displays with train sets and the likes. And while Santa was most definitely there, it was a much more informal setting than most mall Santas.
Meier and Frank has been bought and has been declining rapidly, and I guess they had pulled out the flooring in the Santaland area when municipal government stepped in and put some sort of kybosh on further demolition. And so there is a Santaland again, for the last year, which is unlike it used to be.
There's still a monorail. There's still a miniature, albeit much miniaturer. But now, it's all about Santa, all about corralling your kids, having to stand next to a bunch of toys while waiting to talk to Santa, about paying for the priviledge of talking to Santa, blah blah blah.
What's amazing to me is: Meier & Frank doesn't sell toys. Or at least didn't.
Yesterday was a workday like I'd like to have more often. I was very productive. And then I got to attend a class which made me all excited about work again. It was great!
After work, we went out and tried a new (to us) Chinese-American dive. I'm such a sucker for a good neon sign, and Sweetie has been very willing to try these places out with me. To our great shock, the food was good, though the atmosphere was sorta surreal (note to self: never use blue translucent ceiling tiles).
December 6, 2005
The sun is actually out this morning! Wuhoo!
I feel... so... productive. It's crazy.
Last night, we decided on the couch. I think. We slept on it last night, figuratively, and while there is part of me that just wants to get it right now, it's looking like we'll have to wait til next week to get that particular one. Which makes me crazy. I want a new couch NOW, not next week.
I'm trying to calm down. Trying.
Did I mention that we bought xmas lights on Saturday? We went to this little store in the neighborhood which is unflashy and unprofessional and completely a rabbit warren, but appears to have every type of lightbulb (and xmas light string) manufactured. I was completely overwhelmed by the selection. We got a couple strings of LED lights, which use next to no energy at all, and put them on the front porch. They are so incredibly cheerful!
And as you might expect, they are very brightly colored, but they don't cast a lot of light. Last year you could sit on the porch and read by the conventional outside xmas lights. I think we'll move those to the back porch -- they would be a nice accent, and much less frequently used. Maybe.
I also bought a couple strings of battery operated lights. Unfortunately, I don't have any D batteries. But I am excited about, at some point, adding them to the bike. Like maybe tonight so the bike will be ready for the Bike Craft Faire.
I am so wound up this morning. I don't know what it's about. I did a load of dishes and laundry before heading to work, I bicycled :), which was just too good for words, and I'ver been so productive at work. Gosh, it blows me away home much I love bicycling in to work. I just wish I loved bicycling home, and how it's dark so early...
Another scooterist in town posted this "recipe"/"pattern" for a bottle cap wreath. I also am under the delusion that I'd actually tile something with bottle caps, and, um, let's face facts—it ain't gonna happen. But a festive wreath—that sounds like fun.
December 5, 2005
I walked about a mile this morning. I know, it's nothing! But I was kinda excited about it anyways. I was waiting for the bus, and I am a lousy waiter, very impatient, so I started walking. I made it from my place all the way to Alberta. If I had headed in the opposite direction, I probably would have been able to make it to the MAX train, and I would have gotten into work in the same amount of time.
That, sadly, is the whole of exercise for the last couple of days. I have been wanting, wanting, wanting to get a new couch for what seems like a year. The current couch is maybe 3 years old, and we bought it resale. Unlike the previous couch, we did not find any drug paraphenalia in it Anyways, current couch is looking pretty bad, the cats have been using it as a scratching post, and my Sweetie hasn't been able to sit comfortably on it forever and three weeks.
Mind you, I have never bought new furniture. My house is post-college thrift store, made up of garage sale finds and gifts from loved ones. I'm almost 43 and I have never bought furniture. Does that make me some sort of pinko?
Still, whenever I mention that we should go pick out a new couch, or that I'm going to go pick out a new couch, Sweetie has managed to dissuade me (we go through with cutting his hair too). Saturday, we were out to breakfast, reading the paper, and there was a circular for a furniture store... and so we both decided that this was important and that we should do it.
So Saturday night, we went out to said furniture store. They had a single couch that we liked... that would be available in a month. Okay.
Sunday morning, we rose early to go out to the suburbs, to the new "mall". That was a big mistake. Though I did kinda enjoy walking through the store going, oh, now that is so wrong, oh, now look it at that—who thought that was a good idea?. We drove back into town and went to a snooty furniture designer that I like, and they had a great couch that we both loved—for about a thousand more than we wanted to spend.
There is so much to love there, though. Audacious couches, fun patterns, slipcovers. And all of the chairs are on coasters, with a little handle on the back. I doubt they come that way when you buy them, but we were both very amused.
My head was about spinning at that point. I had brought some knitting with me, the beginnings of a cotton basketweave-patterned washcloth, which helped me stay focused. One more store. One more store.
Luckily, the last store was a jackpot. We found a number of couches that would work for us. Now we just have to choice.
At this point, we repair to the brewpub for a pint and some food, and talk about what we'd do with the old couch. And how I want to go home and measure everything and move furniture, and Sweetie, just wants to buy a couch. Then we start talking about the TV cabinet that we both hate, and we fight, nicely, about where the TV should go, and then I have the great idea of the day: getting a bakers rack for the TV and putting it on coasters. So we can move the thing around.
Anyways. Sweetie got the bakers rack stuff and put it together last night. It looks great, and some much less visually bloblike than our former armoire, which is collecting cats. I got the worst case of heartburn in recent memory, very close to take me to the ER, and then once that was finally resolved, one of the joints of my big toe decided it didn't like anything at all. Ugh.
It's fine today. I'm being careful. I feel kinda crappy. But this too shall pass.
December 1, 2005
In spite of our lack of snow, in spite of the fact that I have to go to work and it's raining, in spite, I am happy. It is not a buddhist happiness, though that seems like a good thing TM.
Yesterday was a rollercoaster. My supervisor retired, and we had a party that had almost all of us in tears. It's a party so I'm happy! And I'm actually current with my work momentarily! And I'm making my cow-orkers blush! But I don't like change, etc., etc., etc.
But I had a couple small, subtle, triumphs at work. And then I dreamt that I was in this really good situation, and everything was great, and then someone dishonored me in an unrespectful way. I thought about running away. I thought about punching him. Or avoiding him. But I went up and confronted him. It wasn't comfortable at all, but afterwards, I realized that I had had this crossroads where I could have thrown away all the good I had earned because, well, someone crossed me—or I could continue on my path.
I woke up right afterwards, feeling that unsettled ‘did I dream that?’ feeling, and then I realized: I stood up for myself. In a dream. Dude!
And the day has just fallen in line. I'm about a block from the bus stop when I see the bus go by, but then another came in about 4 minutes. And I got a seat on the bus. And it appears that something broke loose, because no one at work seems terribly concerned about work. Products are due on Monday. But no one seems terribly concerned. I think we all hit the ends of our ropes, went to the party, actually sat and talked with our coworkers for a couple of hours, and, poof, tension gone. I'm sure it will be back, but, that's fine.
It's odd and lovely to feel so positive about things.