darkemeralds: Screencap from Where The Hell Is Matt (Matt Dancing)
Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel so good that it's almost like being in love?

I'm having one of them right now. I wish I could pinpoint exactly what's making everything feel so wonderful. What combination of perfect weather, adequate rest, good food, pleasant company, just-so exercise, new ideas, and fortuitous timing makes my brain full of dopamine and oxytocin and serotonin (or, alternatively, connects my consciousness to the universal field of goodness, or whatever)?

There was coffee, and more bike riding than usual. The forecast called for heat, but the weather stopped at perfect breezy warmth. I had a nice leisurely start to my day after about nine hours' sleep. A good visit with my mom at the farmers' market. There was the emergency consumption of a pint of very-ripe raspberries in the form of a bright magenta smoothie on the porch. A zillion fun emails with links to SDCC pictures and videos. Lots of reading and commenting on LJ and DW. Dishes to wash and groceries to put away and good food to prepare. A little bit of bacon. A good audiobook* and a good book-book**.

It's not like anything has really changed much from yesterday. I eat raspberries every chance I get. The weather's been gorgeous for weeks. I get plenty of sleep most weekends...I mean, there is no extraordinary cause that I can identify. And yet, I'm in an extraordinary state. Even Graydie the not-that-stray-anymore cat is feeling it. Normally aloof and outdoors, she's been by several times for hugs and scritches.

Today, the world is beautiful, and I'm at home in it, and life is good. I want to store up this apparently causeless bliss. It might come in handy on a rainy day.

View from above of two baskets of farmers market produce clipped to the rear rack of DarkEm's Dutch bike

*Science Set Free by Rupert Sheldrake
**Vicious Circle by Mike Carey
darkemeralds: Image of an open book whose pages are turning into wings and flying away (Winged book)
Five things on a Sunday night )

Back to work tomorrow. Work is evil. I can hardly wait for the Singularity.
darkemeralds: Screencap from Life on Mars with caption Welcome To The Team (Welcome to the Team)
Workin' on a Saturday. The whole Saturday, apparently. It was supposed to be a couple of hours, but it's turned into a marathon of fiddle-farting around trying to get the damn fiscal year closed. The degree to which I actually care about the fiscal year close, or anything else with the word "fiscal" in it, can be measured in pico-somethings. And yet, here I am.

What's more, I'm very very hungry. I skipped breakfast, thinking I'd be home by lunchtime. I went out a bit ago in search of victuals, and came up both empty-handed and rained-upon.

So, I'm amusing myself designing my bedroom re-do. What do you think? Are these curtains too rugby-shirt-ish?

Oooh, yay! They just said I could go home. Food, here I come.
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (I Don't Care)
I never quite realize how much stress I'm under until I get a break from it (or until I start getting overdraft notices, take your pick). I took Friday off to make the three-day holiday weekend into four, and oh, the sense of healing!

Rich days )

1I'm enjoying it. It's the kind of slow-unfolding story with slow-building suspense that I particularly admire.
2This one in this wool.
3Ironically, we were discussing writer's block.
4I don't even get to work at 8:30
5It was fabulous, pan-fried in a bit of butter and balsamic vinegar with dill and salt.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Tra-la-la. I'm at work on a Sunday morning because I just couldn't bring myself to come in on a dry Saturday. Somehow, yesterday, between sleeping till the crack of 10:30, and having a typically revelatory conversation with [personal profile] ravurian that lasted through the middle of the day, and writing, as a result of said conversation (thank you, R!) a couple of brilliant-if-I-do-say-so-myself paragraphs of the new novel, and a mad bout of wool-winding (not, as [personal profile] ravurian himself would say, a euphemism: I was frogging some unsuccessful knitting projects and putting the yarn up for another day, and to say that I became a bit obsessed with the balls my new ball-winder makes would be to state the case mildly), and knitting practice swatches for my hyacinth Arpeggio, and watching Sherlock, it was suddenly 3:00 a.m. and not only was my Saturday gone, but also three hours of my Sunday.

So anyway.

Here I am in my gray cubicle at 11:30 on a rainy (OMG rainy again) Sunday morning. And yet still procrastinating. I couldn't find the light switches, and of course this is the World's Tallest Basement, so it's not as if light pours in at the tiny and widely-spaced windows near one of which my desk is not situated, so I'm in the gloom with a desk lamp and the comforting glow of my high-productivity dual monitors. And we don't run the HVAC on weekends, so I've got my little hot-flash fan running. And we also don't open the garage on weekends, just to inconvenience those pesky Sunday terrorists, so Eleanor O is parked down on the porch instead of safely indoors.

And Eleanor O is wearing all her baskets because as soon as I'm done procrastinating and I get an ass-covering-modicum of work done, I need to go to Trader Joe's, New Seasons, Fred Meyer and Sally Beauty Supply to buy all my crap for the week, and then stop at my mom's to drop off Sherlock, because fandom knows no age limits and she's a huge Bendy fan and bought the DVD as soon as it came out. For the subtitles. Uh huh.

So anyway.

Work. I can do this. I can! I focus my mind, and as I do, I begin to remember what the hell task I'm supposed to be accomplishing. It's coming to me now...
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
Sunshine at last. A text message from my sis (whose messages come in under the tone of Bart Simpson snickering) roused me from the Saturday sleep-in, and invited me to go shopping.

Off we went on our bikes in the sunshine (me with mad sleep hair), to Fred Meyer, where we loaded socks and clothes and bath products and toilet paper and and batteries and gardening accouterments into our bike baskets, then pedaled off to Peet's Coffee on the corner of 15th & Broadway.

Cafe Society

Portland was out in force. That's my sis in the orange. That's her yellow bike, with the TP. You can see Eleanor O's high handlebars and basket behind it, and the teeny-weeny kids' bikes locked up on the corner. Little helmeted darlings emerged from the coffee shop with their dad a moment later and rode off.

There is no earthly reason for me to be indoors on a day like this, and I'm going to remedy that situation in a just a minute.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (moth)
A year or so ago in a fit of "I should be a more colorful person," I bought a whole massive set of bed linens, pillows and curtains to transform my gray bedroom into a den of delightful color. Raspberry, orange, banana, aubergine and lime--it was a fuckin' fruit salad in there.

I gratefully put the brights away for the winter, but then a week or so ago, thinking that spring must come eventually, I got them out of the closet, aired them, and redeployed them.

This morning I couldn't stand it another minute. I folded all the someone-else's-colorfulness Ikea linens into a big neat folded pile, and got my grays and violets and cloud-colors back out.

Oh, the sigh of relief.

The moral of the story is: know yourself, be yourself, and don't waste a bunch of money at Ikea trying to meet a mythical standard of what interesting people should prefer in their interior décor.
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
I have had the most splendid day!

First of all, I slept a long time. Second of all, when I woke, there was SUNSHINE! Real sunshine, through real gaps in the Venusian cloud cover. It was gorgeous.

And third of all, I had a terrific online chat with [personal profile] ravurian, and it has left me with that unique, specific good feeling that comes from a long and engaged conversation with a new friend.

The sun, astonishingly, continued to shine, so fourth of all, I went out on Eleanor O, and determined that as long as I don't exert myself into actually-aerobic levels of pedaling, this lung condition is almost sort of not a problem.

A few errands and a visit to my mom later, I came home and, fifth of all, finished sleeve number one of a positively ancient WIP cardigan, while watching The Two Towers and Return of the King. (Note: you may keep your Viggo and your Orli and even your Karl Urban, and just leave me with David Wenham.)

And then, even though it clouded up and rained some more, the clouds parted to reveal SUPER MOON, and it is lovely. Sixth of all.

Oh, and I've lost 42 pounds. \o/
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
  • Wonderful: Scale shows a reduction for the third day in a row
  • Fabulous: For kicks I tried on a pair of Land's End straight leg jeans in size 18 tall, to measure how many more inches I would need to melt off to button them. None, apparently. I'm wearing them now.
  • Not bad: this damn cold has sloped off ten times faster than it sloped on and I'm feeling mostly human today
  • Very good: I came home last night to find that Leroy, the neighborhood handyman, had been by to complete a yard task that he began about a month ago, and while he was here he fixed the flat on Clyde's back tire! (Poor Clyde has been flat for a couple of months because I hate changing the rear tire). It was such an unexpected gift!

So next we're making a family excursion--sis and BF, mom--to Ikea for some kind of little shelf on which to display my Fibonacci plates. And it's not even 11:00 a.m. yet.

Excellent Saturdays FTW!
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
Multiple forms of satisfaction have rendered my weekend fabulous.

I just finished listening to What Technology Wants, and I might be prepared to put it into the category of "best non-fiction I've ever read". I'm going to re-listen to it, and will undoubtedly begin to see flaws in Kevin Kelly's sweeping notions (so sweeping that he even mentions fanfic, which I cannot but adore him for), but even if they're there, the book consolidates and articulates Great Big Ideas that I've been intuiting and struggling with for most of my life, and I love it to pieces.

On a somewhat lower order of intellectual satisfaction, I used the "My Tracks" app on my new phone today. GPS is cool enough, but the part that is making me giggle like a maniac is this:

Maps! Geekery! )

On an aesthetic and creative level of satisfaction, I spent a wonderful afternoon in the glass studio of [livejournal.com profile] roseambr yesterday, experimenting with colors and layouts for the set of glass dinner plates she's going to help me make.

Glass )

In gustatory satisfaction, I had a delicious breakfast with my mom today at a local gay-owned restaurant where the whole staff was Halloweened up, several large men in tributes to Carol Burnett's famous "Scarlet O'Hara" sketch where she makes new clothes from the curtains, including the curtain rods. And our waitperson was Underdog. Underdog! \o/

It's amazing, really, how a full and busy weekend seems longer and more restful than a quiet boring one, huh?
darkemeralds: Photo of duct tape with caption "May actually prevent head explosion" (Duct Tape)
After a lovely three-day weekend of cool sunshine, bike rides, pleasant online conversations, long sleeps, and other defining characteristics of good weekends, I'm girding my loins (or are they loinesses?) to return to the World's Tallest Basement tomorrow.

I have Taken Steps to re-balance my mind in relationship to my suddenly-doubled job.

First, I've made an appointment with a counselor for Wednesday morning through the Employee Assistance Program. We're going to discuss work styles, learning styles, and stress management. There will probably be several sessions.

Second (and this doesn't sound like much but it IS), I've made an appointment to get my hair cut. Tomorrow. In the middle of workday. By the really good haircutter. I've been putting it off for weeks because I haven't wanted to take the time away from the office. Well screw that. My current hair style is supposed to be super short, and right now it's grippably bushy, and driving me nuts.

Third, I've been working really hard to curb my emotional overeating, and it's making a big difference in how I feel while I'm awake, and how well I sleep. Also? Kale is my latest food discovery and I've been eating it by the bunch. I can't begin to tell you how odd this is for a person to whom the entire range of edible vegetables was asparagus and spinach up until a couple of weeks ago.

So, wish me luck tomorrow. It's when I begin to restructure my job.
darkemeralds: text: When I stand upright in the wind, my bones turn to dark emeralds (My bones turn to dark emeralds)
Today was kind of a throwback to earlier times for me. I started it at a women's workshop with yoga and mystical overtones, three hours of body acceptance and self-compassion that took me back to my therapy days.

It got emotionally taxing for me when we were asked to "send loving kindness to someone you love," a concept that feels very dangerous to me, but it took place in a safe environment, and all in all I think it was beneficial.

I rode Clyde to County Cork, the Irish style pub in my neighborhood (they have gluten-free beer!), for a lunch date with an old friend from my astrology days. She's a professional astrologer--makes part of her living at it--and I didn't want to say "Hey, I've left all that behind and outgrown this thing that's so central to your life and beliefs," so I went with it, and you know what? It was fun!

Talking astrology is like entering a conversation in a language that I was once fluent in and can still speak. It's a beautiful language, poetic, mythic, entirely metaphorical and very colorful, and we ended up having an excellent time.

I'm not sure I believe that a financial windfall is coming my way in the next few months, but I'll say this: I could read the astrological symbolism that led her to her prediction, and I certainly won't mind if it comes true.


May. 3rd, 2010 04:07 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
The sheer bliss of a Monday off--the third day in a three day weekend--is exceeded only by the sheer bliss of HAVING TUESDAY OFF TOO! \o/

The training schedule from hell last week took a larger chunk out of me than I anticipated: it was like jet lag without the jet, for five days in a row. Even though I went to bed early and got as many hours' sleep as I generally get, they were the wrong hours, and I was all out of whack.

I'm rested up now and doing some wonderful writing (I mean, I'm feeling wonderful about it--haven't read it yet to know whether it's crap), and in the breaks, I've made little gluten-free chicken pies.

Pie! Warning: SO not vegetarian. )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Not in the blackout-drunk sense, just in the cleared-my-calendar-so-I-could-write-then-choked sense.

I got no writing done. Only writing exercises. I am well and truly B-L-O-C-K-E-D on chapter 31, which a few people are waiting for. I've tried what I know to bust through the block. I read articles. I played writing games. I went outside and worked in the yard (pruning--seemed appropriate). In an unexpected place, I found a useful quote from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

Value traps are the ones where your thinking is not as clear as it should be. Value rigidity is the first one. It is a refusal to value anything other than a certain thing just because it “has” to be that way. A lot of times a solution will be staring you in the face, but you’re in too much of a hurry to notice it. Slow down — stare at it for a while! It’s very much like a fisherman sitting and waiting for a nibble. Value rigidity is usually an ego problem. Lose the ego and be humble. Let yourself be surprised, and solutions will show themselves.

I might have made a little progress late today. I think I've started to see a path. Stay tuned...

Meanwhile, I baked a gluten-free cake using agave instead of sugar, and it's pretty tasty. It's a variation on the pound cake I've been trying to perfect for several weeks now. Agave, for the record, tastes quite a bit like golden syrup.

The muse really can't be coerced, but if anyone has any more suggestions, tips, or tricks for enticing her back, let me know.
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
It's a story about transportation. A story about service. A story of the limits of technology and the boundless nature of kindness, and it is the story of the thing that rarely happens happening at just the wrong time. It is a tale of podfic, and a Dutch German woman, and and a boy called Jeremy.

It is the story of my Saturday, and it goes like this:

Read more... )

Now it's 1:30. I have my wallet. My devices are charging. I'm getting on a bus in a few minutes and going to get Clyde, who will carry me in a lovely, newly-gear-adjusted, impact-free manner back to Clever Cycles, where I will purchase my accessory items before they close, and then...

Then I think I'm gonna stop at an all-day breakfast place and treat myself to some bacon. Because I totally deserve bacon.
darkemeralds: Photo of fingers on a computer keyboard. (Writing)
Peppier. Hee! Great word.

Maybe it's the encroaching virus that will not manifest, or maybe it's just work fatigue or stress (or the damn news of party politics escalating into armed hate-war, Jesus H Christ), but the old energy ain't what I'd like it to be for a Friday.

So, what's lovely in the world? What has cheered you up lately? Tell me something good. Show me a pretty picture. Or link me to a joke. I really need a pepper-upper.

Fridays should feel better than this.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Hello, Flist! I've been reading your journals and keeping up with the news and views from LJ-land, though I haven't had much time to comment. I finally feel unwound enough to start my weekend! Too bad it's Sunday night, huh?

Pot of pork and beans in the oven, glass of amber ale by my elbow, Life on Mars 1.2 on my laptop, and...*looks at clock*...about four more hours of freedom. No wait--there's laundry and dishes. So make that two more hours. *glum*

Things I hear rumblings of from my distant and muffled perch on the project at work:
  • Tina Fey...Sarah Palin...something?
  • Something about the stock market?
  • Wait--summer's over?
  • What mortgage company?
  • Jensen Ackles...black and white...lederhosen?
Otherwise, all I know is conversion data and integration testing.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Fantastic day! Fantastic weekend!

I seem to have so much free time. I had time after work yesterday to make dinner for [livejournal.com profile] avventura1234 and two of my nieces, then clean up my kitchen, then walk around the neighborhood, then time to come home and watch a (really good)(Canadian) movie. Time to read into the small hours, and yet time to get a good night's sleep.

Today I had time to lounge around with iced coffee before doing laundry and hanging it on the clothesline. Time to drink more coffee with [livejournal.com profile] avventura1234 and our mom, and show her the cool vision-training eye exercise we're both learning.

Time to ride a bus downtown and go nosing around at Art Media (cool art supply store) and Sûr la Table (cool cooking store). Time to stop at Kenny and Zuke's for the best, most real and delicious and non-cooked-freight corned beef on rye sandwich this side of New York City. Time to chat with the waitstaff and linger over the excellent cole slaw.

Time to wander through a sustainability fair in Pioneer Courthouse Square and shout at the vendors over a seriously rockin' electric-guitar version of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" being cranked out by some band on the stage.

Then I had time to catch a bus home in the afternoon scorch and wander at a not-heatstroke-inducing pace back to my shady, cool house. Time to fold the sunny laundry. Time to catch up on my flist. Time to make some pita bread and start a batch of hummus. Time to download a ton of fic (wink-wink, nudge-nudge to [livejournal.com profile] lamentables...) and even read some. Time to make a lime slushy in the blender. Time to drink it as it slowly melted.

And it's still only 10:30. It's still only Saturday! Where's all this time coming from? It's amazing.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
The sun's sinking in the west, the new little leafies on the trees outside my window are shining yellow-green in the last of the daylight, and can I just say that there is nothin' like a bottle of cheap Corbières in a big honkin' glass to round out a Saturday evening?

I peeled off the label that said $6.95. )

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