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Tuesday, July 19th, 2016


9:04 a.m. - Quote of the Moment
As a child of the 1970s in California, I was constantly told, "You create your own reality." But I lived in a home I did not design, breathed air I did not pollute, went to public schools I did not vote to underfund, rushed home as soon as the last bell rang to avoid the flasher who skulked in the yard across the street, ate off beautiful antique dishes I neither made nor worked for, and slept soundly between soft sheets.

I did not create my own reality.

"Ah, but that's because you hadn't yet taken responsibility for your own life," the New Agers would insist, sipping their bee pollen tonics and adjusting their crystal pendants.

Back then, as now, I understood their point: that which we water grows. But I also understood that most of them were privileged and narcissistic.

You create your own reality, they said. It's an idea that can be potent and empowering: if I can dream it, I can make it happen. But the belief has a dark side, too. Cancer patients are made to feel that they brought their illness upon themselves because of their own negative thinking. Underemployed workers are sent to career counseling, where they're taught that their real problem is their own sorry view of themselves. And I guess that folks living and dying through wars can assume that they're just not good enough at visualizing world peace.


--from Ariel Gore's book Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness
Current Mood: unreal
Current Music: Icehouse, "Surgery"
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Sunday, May 22nd, 2016


12:47 p.m. - Still alive
I keep thinking about posting and interacting more on Dreamwidth and LiveJournal; but seriously, the internet just isn't as much fun for a dial-up user as it used to be. Also, allergy medicine is making my brain even fuzzier than usual. The fact that the DC area has been much cooler than usual, making my room cool enough that I start to lose feeling in my digits unless I'm covered up in heavy layers (or unless I turn on my space heater, which I don't want to because money), also doesn't help. I mean, why get online when I can curl up in bed with a good book?

So, my social life these days is mostly offline. It's not as much of a social life as I'd like, thanks to lack of energy and limited funds, but people around town know my name and want to stop and chat with me a while, so maybe that's enough for now.

(No, it's not enough. I wanted to go out and do something this morning/early afternoon. The fact that I knew it was unlikely that I'd do anything even very late in the morning (my body is not at all the body of a morning person) didn't change my disappointment in not doing the thing I wanted to do. It's the same old dilemma: If I don't try to get out, I never will--but if I do try to get out, I'm much more disappointed when I find I need to stay at home.)

The weather's supposed to get warmer this week, which should be good for people's moods. We're not used to cold, rainy weather in May around here ("cold" being a relative term, of course). Here's hoping the pollen will be kind to us and I won't have to max out on mind-altering allergy meds again. And here's hoping that I'll be able to go shopping for those shoes I so desperately need. And here's hoping with all my overoptimistic little heart I'll be able to do something fun next weekend, and the weekend after that.
Current Mood: hopeful
Current Music: light rain and twittering birds

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Thursday, March 3rd, 2016


8:48 p.m. - Old-school LiveJournal post
Because I'm trying to get back in the habit of posting but am too tired to write coherently, I'm posting some silly quiz results.

Cut for your protectionCollapse )
Current Mood: still achy
Current Music: Tears for Fears, "Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down)"

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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016


7:32 p.m. - Wednesday Report
Today's weather was blustery, with a high temperature twenty Fahrenheit degrees cooler than yesterday's. It was glorious.

Headache continues. I went for a walk anyway (actually a few short walks). Multiple optimistic daffodils are blooming throughout the neighborhood, though the daffodils on our street remain tightly enclosed in their buds. The two little pink cherry trees on our street have many pretty flowers on them, while most other cherry trees seem to remember that it's still very early in March.

Much to the surprise of nobody at all, I bought tea and chocolate while I was out. Somewhat to my own surprise, I was in the mood for milk chocolate rather than dark.

Eyes don't want to focus. Laundry doesn't want to dry. Brain doesn't want to come up with any better way to end this entry, so this is it.
Current Mood: need more tea
Current Music: Stephane Grappelli, "Manoir De Mes Rêves / Daphne"

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Tuesday, March 1st, 2016


7:12 p.m. - A pretty Tuesday, after all
Somehow--and don't ask me how--I managed to get just the right amount of tea today to dial the headache down to an ignorable level so I could go out for a walk. Today was a our third day in a row with temperatures in the Fahrenheit 60s, making for a wonderfully springlike stretch of days. While crocuses and snowdrops have been blooming since January, and daffodils have been thinking about bursting their buds, this week some of the earlier-blooming cherry trees have been turning distinctly pink. These aren't the famous Yoshino cherry trees tourists flock to see on the Tidal Basin in DC every year (those usually bloom a few weeks later), but they are a lovely harbinger of warm weather.

This being March, the weather prognosticators expect us to get some snow by the end of the week. Of course.

Anyway, today was pleasant and breezy and a good day to chat with one of my neighborhood friends who had just finished planting a basketful of bulbs in her yard when I passed by her house. After talking for a while about the weather and her garden (which had had to be torn up last year for various reasons, so she's trying to catch up on re-planting), she told me about a new used bookstore I'll have to check out some non-migrainey day.

I also went to the library, went grocery shopping, wandered around a little more (all while taking frequent breaks), and listened to a borrowed CD featuring jazz violinists. I have decided that I need more jazz violin in my life. I also need more chocolate, but you probably guessed that.
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Don "Sugarcane" Harris, "Carlsbad"

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11:14 a.m. - A Super Tuesday?
Dear Fellow Americans:

If you happen to live in a place where there are primary elections today, could you please consider voting for someone who's not a living cartoon or actively inviting comparisons to all the actual historical Fascists? I realize this is going to be more difficult for some of you than for others, but still--please try to find someone halfway decent on the ballot somewhere.

2016: The first year I've heard a Republican talk about moving to Canada if their own party's presidential frontrunner wins in November.
Current Mood: still headachy
Current Music: Laura Love, "This Place I Love"
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Thursday, February 25th, 2016


7:10 p.m. - "Nikabrik's Candidate"
"If you ever doubt that C. S. Lewis was gifted with a prophetic voice, you need look no further for correction than Prince Caspian." Thus begins an opinion piece (which I got from the Inklings mailing list) which includes the question "Did C. S. Lewis foresee the rise of Donald Trump?"

I'm sharing this link mostly because I ended up getting sucked into multiple political conversations while I was out today; and, while I am delighted to know that my neighbors and friends all over the political spectrum--from Tea Partiers to mixed baggers and moderates to raving hippies--are nearly all in agreement that Trump should never ever be elected dogcatcher, much less POTUS, that still meant that I had to think about the clown for an extended period of time, which didn't help my headache. So now I'm sharing the pain.

Now I want more tea (no party).
Current Mood: hungry & headachy
Current Music: wind and distant traffic

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11:23 a.m. - Hello, Thursday
On the one hand, it's the start of one of my infamous regularly-scheduled, multi-day migraines, which tends to make me melancholy, angry, or both. I woke up too early this morning and quickly reached for the pain meds, wishing I had something stronger to help me deal with the start of the day.

On the other hand, as the sun was rising in the east, I walked to a window on the west and saw a high, shining rainbow.

The clouds closed back in after a few minutes, and hours later we've got overcast and breezy conditions. As long as the sun stays hidden away, it might be a good day for a migraine. It's certainly a good sky if you like to appreciate the wide variety of shades of grey.

~~~~~

Lately, the line "In some cases, despite careful and correct surgery, you discover that you still breathe flames" keeps popping into my head. Fire is useful, though. If you can figure out how to control your fire-breathing, you can do good things, maybe even great things. But you've got to know how to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate fuels. Bodies, for instance. It is unwise to burn bodies before you're certain that they're dead. You shouldn't burn bridges before you've crossed either, but everyone knows that by now if they've been paying any attention at all. Too many people still see living bodies as expendable.

I kinda wish I could breathe literal fire right now. Our clothes dryer's been misbehaving, you see, and I despise reaching into a dryer to find that my clothes are still damp and cold. It's February in Maryland, and damp and cold conditions are for outside, not in my limited wardrobe.

Anyway, at some point I'm hoping to write something, but I wouldn't bet on that happening today. I also wouldn't bet on it not happening. It's just a questionable kind of day.
Current Music: Telemann, "Divertimento in B flat major"

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Thursday, January 28th, 2016


8:28 p.m. - damn it
One of my earliest friends on LiveJournal, Nalidoll, died yesterday.

In one of her last posts, she said, "This year is for me." I don't think this is what she had in mind.
Current Mood: heartbroken

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Sunday, January 24th, 2016


5:14 p.m. - Digging out
After the busy week I'd had, I spent yesterday lounging around (collapsed, really) in the clothes I'd slept in. Watched the snow, listened to the radio, listened to the wind, watched more snow, admired the white-out conditions, read the final pages of a library book, but mostly drank tea and rested. Changed clothes in time to go to sleep again.

All the people on our little street are in agreement about one thing: We're okay with being snowed in for a while as long as we have electricity. We never lost power during the storm and we've still got it now, so it's all good.

I'm not sure which was the better investment--those new boots I bought or the chocolate. I do wish I'd bought more chocolate, though.

Today's weather has been beautiful: blue skies, sunshine, temperature a little bit above freezing, snow sparkling and slowly (very slowly) melting into fantastical undulating shapes.

Huge flocks of robins and starlings have been flying around in search of food, gathering excitedly wherever they see anything resembling bare ground. Canada geese and seagulls have flown higher overhead, apparently not seeing anything worth diving toward.

Our street has been plowed, but not particularly well. It's a one-way street now, but nobody knows which way. It's best if nobody drives anywhere, really. (Do you think this has stopped people from driving up or down our street? Have you met any humans?)

I began shoveling the front walk early this morning. About 9:30 I texted the landlord with "If you haven't maxed out on your daily pain meds yet, you're slacking. Time to shovel." In fairness to him, he did keep shoveling a path between our front door and the street yesterday and into the evening; but it was time to shovel that path again by the time I woke up. And the rest of the sidewalk? Well, I shoveled, with occasional breaks, from sometime before 9 a.m. till sometime before 3 p.m. Got help breaking up some ice from the landlord, and more useful help later on from a neighbor. Did an excellent job clearing the sidewalks in front of our house if I do say so myself, and even helpfully shoveled some grassy areas as well.

Took a shower (finally!). Took some more pain meds. Had a snack while trying to decide what kind of meal I might want. Looked outside and saw the landlord's wife shoveling our sidewalk, which confused me. "You did a great job!" she told me when I opened the door, then she continued shoveling for the next hour. I just... I don't even know.

Though I did try to follow best practices when shoveling today, my back hurts, my legs hurt, my wrists hurt, and I'm so very ow. I suspect I'll be maxing out on pain meds for at least a week. Oh, and I know I'll be sleeping a good long while tomorrow--possibly sleeping until the next farmers market, which may be this week.

I'm pretty sure I still have something else with chocolate in it somewhere. That sounds like supper.
Current Mood: hungry

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Friday, January 22nd, 2016


6:38 p.m. - Panic shopping
Why does everyone buy bread, milk, and eggs before a snowstorm?

For my part, I typically buy things I expect to want in the next few days, probably in larger quantities than usual to make sure I don't run out before I'm willing to leave the house. So no milk for me, because I never drink the stuff. Haven't bought any eggs this week because I have half a dozen now and I tend not to eat more than one a day. If anything is different about my shopping before a storm, it's that I buy lots of chocolate. I'm going to need those calories, after all!

Oh, and I bought a cheap pair of boots a few days ago. Don't know if they'll be any good for walking, but they'll provide more protection from the cold and the snow than the worn-out and well-ventilated running shoes I've been wandering around in lately.

I have half a dozen library books checked out. Decided not to borrow any DVDs. Here's hoping I won't regret that decision.
Current Mood: full
Current Music: Sting, "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You"

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Friday, January 1st, 2016


11:37 a.m. - Time for 2016
Welcome to Big-Time Television: All day and every day making tomorrow seem like yesterday.

Now, remember when we said there was no future? Well, this is it.

Right! Next up, more of the same.

--Blank Reg, in the Max Headroom episode "Body Banks"



Everyone has a time machine. Everyone is a time machine. It's just that most people's machines are broken. The strangest and hardest kind of time travel is the unaided kind. People get stuck, people get looped. People get trapped. But we are all time machines. We are all perfectly engineered time machines, technologically equipped to allow the inside user, the traveler riding inside each of us, to experience time travel, and loss, and understanding. We are universal time machines manufactured to the most exacting specifications possible. Every single one of us.

--from Charles Yu's novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe



I wish that I could be an outlaw
Riding from the laws of time
An old vigilante against the seasons
That I can't help but rewind
I'd always keep my revolver
Steady and fast at my side
And I'd rob a train bound for glory
If I thought I needed a ride

--from Jeff Black's song "Same Old River"
Current Mood: needing a ride
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Sunday, December 27th, 2015


8:22 p.m. - Hi there
Yes, I know, many of you have forgotten who I am after all this time. That's okay, sometimes I need reminding myself.

I've had two big problems with posting this year. One is that it's frequently been hard for me to motivate myself to write, because it's been hard to focus both my mind and my eyes. Haven't been e-mailing much, much less reading online the way as I used to. I have grown distant from words. But I've spent time socializing with folks at farmers' markets and other venues, so I've got that going for me.

The other big problem is that LiveJournal has become less and less dial-up friendly, not wanting to actually show me site pages after the login page. This past week I did manage to get the mobile version working a bit, but it still takes ages to load. Might manage to read my LJ friends once in a while, though, which might help motivate me to post more. We'll see.

One New Year's Resolution I'm making that I seriously need to keep: Get to the eye doctor! I have the urge to make some visual art--both digital and line-on-paper types--but I lose all motivation when I realize that focusing on my work surface hurts. Need new glasses, probably bifocals. Have needed them for a while, but each time I've made an appointment to see the doctor, life's gotten in the way. Life needs to get its act together, I swear.

On the plus side, the unusually warm weather this December has woken up the local rosebushes, azaleas, and violets, meaning that any time I go for a walk, I can actually stop and smell the roses (most of them scentless, as it turns out). The warmth has also kept heating bills quite low, which is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

2015 hasn't been the utterly horrible year for me that it has for some of my friends (offline socializing with people in the neighborhood really has been good for me), but I'm still ready to see the backside of this year. Too many good people getting sick. Too many good people dying. Too much crap going on in the world.

May 2016 be a much, much, MUCH better year for us all.
Current Mood: weary
Current Music: sounds like rain

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Sunday, May 31st, 2015


7:08 p.m. - Not dead, just sleepy
For those of you who've wondered: I am, in fact, still alive. Energy levels quite low, though, so I haven't been getting online nearly as often as I used to. I hope you are all well, and that those of you who remember me haven't been too worried. Be good to yourselves, everyone.
Current Mood: fatigued
Current Music: Charlie Parker Quartet, "Chi-Chi"

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015


8:58 a.m. - I Know What's Best
"I’m a mom, a wife, a doula, an urban chicken farmer, a life coach, an extended breast-feeder, a weaver, a kombucha brewer, a yogini, and a Therapeutic Healing Touch practitioner. But most importantly, I’m a mom. And as a mom, I know what’s best for the health of my family: magical thinking."

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Thursday, January 29th, 2015


6:33 p.m. - Oh, the Weather Outside Is Spiteful...
Today there was supposed to be a chance of rain, with rain becoming more likely as the day wore on and possibly mixed with snow. But this stuff on our sidewalks? I heard someone calling it "snow," but that is a truly nasty thing to say. I like snow. This stuff we have here isn't snow; it's pure, concentrated malice. You know how physicists sometimes like to simplify the problems they're discussing by talking about frictionless spheres? I think those frictionless spheres all decided they wanted to try to kill anyone unfortunate enough to go out walking this evening.

Fortunately for me, a friend of mine was kind enough to give me a ride home from the farmer's market. I only had to navigate the hazards of our front sidewalk (quite hazardous enough for me, thank you) rather than... no, I'd rather not think about that. Better to think about the nice Indonesian food I ate at the market as a late, late lunch while conversing with friends. And I have eggs, meat, bread and ingredients for tasty sandwiches (garlicky goat cheese and mixed microgreens!), and a small, free squash of some variety I've never tried before.

Mostly, this post exists because I needed to use the subject line above. If ever the clouds become sentient and decide to kill us all (isn't that a short story by Peter Watts?), don't be surprised if the weather looks like this.
Current Mood: relieved to be inside again

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Tuesday, January 27th, 2015


9:41 p.m. - Incredibly Helpful Link
Some wonderful days, the internet gives me an excuse to quote Shakespeare. “Is possible that disdain should die when she hath such meet food to feed it as lists of women Christian men shouldn’t marry?”


10 More Women Christian Men Definitely Should Not Marry
Current Music: Talitha MacKenzie, "Funky Bird Medley"

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Sunday, January 18th, 2015


8:25 p.m. - "But won't somebody think about *my* pain?"
"Help, My Friend Won't Stop Having Fibromyalgia At Me!"
Here's that bad advice you were hoping for.

(Link via [personal profile] supergee)
Current Music: The Carpenters, "Ticket To Ride"

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8:09 p.m. - let us dispatch the guide when traveling in an instant of flight
So, it's been a while since I've updated. I took antibiotics for a total of 14 days, then spent some time recovering from antibiotic side effects, then spent time dealing with migraine, and now have a mind that seems to be trying to fall apart. Not sure how to describe that last bit other than that I'm sometimes finding it exhausting to hold on to some coherent narrative related to reality. Actually, that's a really bad description, but I'm drawing a blank on coming up with anything better. I do believe I need to get to a neurologist soon, but I think that's going to have to wait till after cold-and-flu season has receded a bit. In the meantime, I'm tired and wondering why I get fever-dreams when I no longer have a fever.

Anyway, last Sunday I saw a Snowy Owl! It was high in a tree a little way down the street so I didn't get to see its face clearly from our dining room window, but given the size, shape, and color of the bird, it was either a Snowy Owl or evidence that the neighbors have been dabbling in genetic engineering. And while it's true that our neighbors are an interesting bunch, they're more likely to be Mad Artists than Mad Scientists. (Now I'm imagining what would happen if one of the artists got together with a mad geneticist. Wouldn't that be fun?!)

There was a week between then and now. The week involved some walking, some reading, some watching of DVDs (including Dead Poets Society and the Much Ado About Nothing featuring Joss Whedon directing a bunch of his friends). There was also, as usual, a farmer's market, and this time I was energetic enough to enjoy it--lots of chatting with vendors, regular customers, and summertime vendors who like being wintertime customers.

Today I took a trip to a little local grocery and chatted for a bit with one of the guys working there who timed his break so that he could keep talking with me. If I'd been more awake this probably would have been more fun, though he had enough energy for both of us (if only there were a way to share!).

Something about the conversation this evening prompted me to look up a friend from back in college. My old friend was born about the same time as the guy I'd been talking to today, was always fun to debate with, always willing to lend a sympathetic ear, was possibly the sanest person I knew at the university, and was incredibly bad at keeping in touch with people online. Since I haven't been especially good at writing e-mails the last few years, I have been completely unaware of what was going on in his life other than that he had a wife, more than one child, and a business of his own. Found his Twitter account, which he hadn't updated since last year. Did a Google search for his name and location and quickly saw links to his obituary. Before I even clicked on the link, I knew how he'd died--his heart defect finally got the best of him. Knowing what I knew about his health, it really didn't come as a big surprise... but he'll never even make it to 50, and I won't get the chance to debate him one more time.

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Saturday, January 3rd, 2015


2:08 p.m. - Relevant to *so* many people on my flist
Want a better life in 2015? Reading this and following the advice may not make your life perfect--but then again, maybe it's worth a try: "Cat Pictures Please" by Naomi Kritzer.

Hey, if I had either a cat or a camera...
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11:23 a.m. - Question about 2015
[Edit: Many thanks to [personal profile] rialian and [personal profile] musesfool, both of whom answered this question on Dreamwidth. Guess I need to re-watch the Back to the Future trilogy this year.]

What is it about 2015, anyway? Why does that particular number on the calendar seem to be triggering a massive wave of "We're living in the future now"? I could understand it in 2000, when all the numbers were changing all at once and we were somehow in or almost in a brand-new millennium, and I understood it in 2001 (a Space Odyssey!) even though I'd been conversing with HAL for a couple of years by that point. And I'll certainly understand it in 2020, which sounds more like what I want my vision corrected to than it sounds like an actual year. But for some reason, 2015 has got all the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers I know asking "What year did you say this is again?!" Why is that? Is it some pop-cultural thing stuck in everybody's consciousness but mine? Or is there something else, some deep numerological significance of which I've been blissfully unaware?
Current Mood: curious
Current Music: old Siouxsie & the Banshees songs in my head

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Friday, January 2nd, 2015


9:23 a.m. - Resolving 2014
So, back in late 2013 and early 2014, I posted a few resolution-like statements. Now it's time to look back on the year just passed and see how I did!

1. In 2014, I will read more books from the Biography section of the library. I need to learn more about other people's stories, stories of those who lived long ago or far away. It seems like one good way to get out of my mental rut.

What I didn't tell you all is that I'd only read two biographies in 2013, so this wasn't a terribly difficult resolution to keep. Did I, in fact, manage this feat? Yes, I did! I finished seven books filed under Biography, as well as some memoirs filed in other sections of the library. Not sure this did anything to get me out of any mental ruts, but at least I tried.

Oh, and if anyone's incredibly curious about which sections of the library I tended to favor in 2014, here's a list:

000s * 50, 100
100s * 3, 19, 20, 21, 25, 29, 44, 46, 61, 79, 110, 113, 118
200s * 17, 23, 63, 71, 75, 102, 109, 115
300s * 30, 32, 33, 45, 54, 78, 88, 98, 106
400s * 37
500s * 41, 95, 117
600s * 42, 47, 49, 52, 69, 70, 85, 93, 94, 97
700s * 2, 9, 13, 48, 55, 58, 83, 84, 86, 92, 103, 105, 112
800s * 8, 38, 39, 59, 72, 74, 82
900s * 56
BIO * 34, 66, 77, 87, 96, 101, 114
FIC * 5, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 36, 53, 57, 60, 91, 104, 107, 111, 116
HISTORIC * 4, 24, 27, 81, 90
MYS * 18, 40, 51
ROM * 6, 26, 62, 89
SFF * 1, 7, 12, 22, 28, 31, 35, 43, 64, 65, 67, 68, 73, 76, 80, 99, 108

Partway through the year I came up with a vague goal of averaging 10 books per month, with the stipulation that they all had to come from the adult or young adult sections of the library. I was sidetracked by various stresses and illnesses, but I did make it to 118, which isn't too bad considering I avoided the temptation to sneak in a bunch of children's poetry books.

2. Since going without television and reliable radio often makes me feel a little too separated from the pop culture of the day, I want to get some kind of feel for what's going on by reading more periodicals. Most of those periodicals should not be alternative medicine magazines, even though my housemates do get great amusement from those noises I make when I read something like "Theta healing is practicing quantum physics by using theta brain wave states." (Gah.)

After skimming a few magazines at the library last January, I'm afraid I failed at this one. At least I managed to avoid alternative healers attempting to practice quantum physics!

3. I also want to listen to more music. Music is good for the soul.

This was a success, and I really need to keep up this habit. Music is good for the soul--and the brain.

4. And I want to eat more Ethiopian food. Does this really need justification?

Another resounding success! Haven't eaten so much Ethiopian since late summer after a friend grew tired of it, but I did introduce a local farmer to sambusas. Mmmm, sambusas.

To post enough to LiveJournal and Dreamwidth to get all the entries from 2011 off my "Recent Entries" page.

I did this! Maybe in 2015 I'll push back the entries from 2012 and 2013.


So, do I have any resolutions for 2015? No. For the moment, I'm going to focus on doing whatever seems like a good idea at the time. Today, that's likely to involve drinking lots of tea and making a trip to the nearest library branch. I've been invited to a party this weekend, so I want to get some rest beforehand in the hopes that I'll be able to make it there. (The last party I was invited to was one I had to skip out on due to being miserable and feverish. My immune system seriously needs to get with the program.)
Current Mood: hungry
Current Music: sounds like distant roadwork

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Thursday, January 1st, 2015


8:57 a.m. - Happy New Year!
Goodbye, 2014! Hello, 2015! Everybody, we are now in the future!

If the year 2015 must be weird (and one suspects that it must), may it be weird in more entertaining, less traumatic ways than recent years have been. Many of us have been dealing with too much stress and feelings of being trapped. It's about time for a break, don't you think?
Current Mood: hopeful

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Friday, December 26th, 2014


6:25 p.m. - Happy Nearly-New Year!
Happy Belated Hanukkah!

Happy Belated Christmas!

For my Yuletide gift, Santa gave me that sinus infection that all the cool kids are getting this year. I can't say I'm all that thrilled with this particular gift, but since last week was the first time I've gotten a fever since buying my digital thermometer, I've finally learned what the high-temperature alarm sounds like. Yay! And, unsurprisingly, a Fahrenheit temperature of 102.2 will make me feel like complete and utter crap. At least I have a supply of tea & chocolate to help me wash down the antibiotics.

In other news, I am too tired to think of anything else to write. It's probably time for more chocolate.

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6:07 p.m. - 21st-Century Problems
Outside in the alley, a drone is stuck high in a tree. The young men who somehow managed to get it there can't figure out how to get it down without breaking it.

The drone's got blinking red and green lights, so at least it looks festive.
Current Mood: amused

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Friday, November 28th, 2014


3:34 p.m. - Today in the senses
Sight: Colors I'm craving today: Anything highly saturated. Naturally on a cloudy day in late November, everything is muted except for the occasional patch of bright blue sky. If someone would like to replace that dead tree limb over there with a collection of neon tubes, that'd be nifty.

Sound: 2 albums I've been listening to compulsively for the last two or three days:
Martyn Bennett, Grit
Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks

Smell: I'm alternating between wanting the cozy scent of coffee (which I don't drink) and more herbal smells like rosemary or thyme. Right now the house smells like bacon and sawdust, which is pleasant enough.

Taste: Foods I've been craving the past few weeks:
Black tea
Fenugreek
Protein, carbs, fat--which is to say, Calories. Given how fatigued I've been, if my body tells me that it wants more fuel, I'm not inclined to argue. I'm trying to focus on high-protein foods like eggs and chicken, but I've got Peanut Butter M&Ms and I'm not afraid to use them.

Touch: There's a soft, fuzzy blanket wrapped around me.

Temperature: There's a soft, fuzzy, warm blanket wrapped around me. My fingers are a bit chilly, though, and I'd like that to change.

Pain: Mostly the usual all-over pain, with added achiness in my upper back and burning in my thighs.

Proprioception: I feel like I'm sitting in a slightly awkward position, probably because I am. I should shift to a different position soon.

Balance: Even though I'm sitting fairly still, I feel like I'm being slowly spun in three dimensions. This is probably not a good day for a walk.

Common sense: It's Black Friday in the USA and I am nowhere near a shopping mall.
Current Mood: weird
Current Music: Martyn Bennett, "Rant"

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Thursday, November 27th, 2014


7:22 p.m. - Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Turkey Day to all who celebrate! Happy Thursday/Friday/whenever you are reading this to everyone!

I know, I know, it's been forbloodyever since I last posted anything or even read anything on LiveJournal or Dreamwidth. But for those who do remember me: I am still alive and kicking. Well, I'm coughing more than kicking thanks to an infection I just can't seem to shake (probably viral, so life is all about tea, sleep, and symptom management right now). But the coughing and sneezing prove that I'm still breathing, so that's okay.

And for anyone who may still be wondering: Our little household problem went away back in mid-August. I'll try to remember to write more about that under lock at some point.

Anyway, today is Thanksgiving and I'm having a quiet one. I bought myself some cranberry orange relish after my doctor visit on Tuesday, and I bought a slice of sweet potato pie this afternoon. No turkey, but there's chicken in the fridge and that'll do just as well. More importantly, I have a pile of library books to keep me company and enough tea to last a few more days before a trip to some store becomes necessary again. Life could be much, much worse.

How are you all doing? Do you have sufficient pie?
Current Mood: thankful

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014


12:13 p.m. - QOTM


You create the world by your belief in it, so it's important to believe this: There really is a path. It takes you not back to your old life but onward to the new one.


--Laurence Gonzales in Surviving Survival
Current Music: Nine Inch Nails, "The Great Below"

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Friday, July 25th, 2014


7:16 p.m. - QOTM
Three quotes from Eric Hoffer's The Passionate State of Mind:



237
The world leans on us. When we sag, the whole world seems to droop.



216
Add a few drops of venom to a half truth and you have an absolute truth.



210
The hardest thing to cope with is not selfishness or vanity or deceitfulness, but sheer stupidity. One needs the talents of an animal trainer to deal with the stupid.



I was going to say something like, "All three of these are altogether too relevant to things going on in my life right now." Then I remembered certain recent news stories and various commentaries about them, so I'll just go with: All three of these are altogether too relevant.


Edit: It turns out that Eric Hoffer was born July 25, 1902. If I'd known it was his 112th birthday, I might have posted more!
Current Mood: weary
Current Music: things clattering downstairs
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Sunday, July 20th, 2014


11:28 p.m. - Come on, shake your body, baby
I don't get out much. Sure, I go to the library, a supermarket, an organic/natural-type grocery, and at least one farmers' market per week, but compared to most people? I don't get out much. Even those of you who feel like you have no life probably have more of a life than I have.

After being so stressed out lately, I realized early today that if I didn't get out somewhere I don't ordinarily go and hang out with people I don't otherwise know, there was a good chance I might stab somebody--and I'd really rather not commit any kind of violence if I've got better options, thank you very much. So then it became a question of where I should go. I had more energy today than I've had in the past week or so, so that was a good start. Not much money, but not broke yet either. I thought maybe what I wanted was to go to Eastern Market, yet a part of me kept saying, "Gosh, it's been a while since I've been to Ben's Chili Bowl." Reminded myself that this is a weekend and Ben's is a popular and historic tourist destination, but I ended up getting off Metro at the U Street station anyway.

After the escalator brought me up to the street, I promptly crossed to Ben's, but I didn't go inside. Outside on the sidewalk there was a steel pan ensemble playing a free concert for anyone who happened to be in the area, music ranging from old classics to a song from Miami Sound Machine (and if "Conga" is considered a classic now, I don't want to hear about it). Tourists and locals and occasional restaurant employees were hanging out, taking pictures of the kids playing the music, taking pictures of each other, dancing on the sidewalk. It was fun. It may not have been the kind of event that could help to bring about world peace or even a slight reduction in carbon emissions. It was simply the kind of thing that brings people together for a little while. It was a reminder that sometimes humanity is worthwhile. It was a good thing.

And then the concert was over and our bellies were grumbling and we got in the long line and I told anyone who wasn't sure what to order that they needed a half-smoke with chili, because of course they did. Inside, tourists were taking pictures of each other standing next to pictures of famous people, because that's the sort of thing tourists will do. The jukebox played "When Doves Cry" and people sang along, because that's the sort of thing you have to do. Hours later, my hands still smell a little bit like mustard and onions.

Afterward, at the usual organic/natural-foods-type store, the grinning cashier wished me a good night. For a change of pace, I'd had a good day, and I rather hope he did too.
Current Mood: better
Current Music: Miami Sound Machine, "Conga" in my head

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Wednesday, April 9th, 2014


7:28 p.m. - Resistance...
So in the dream I was living in something like a good hotel or a particularly nice dormitory--large building filled with other residents (many of whom live in my general neighborhood in waking life), but not at all spartan accommodations. As I was taking a shower, I felt what seemed to be a mild earthquake. I quickly dressed and went to a large window facing the street, where I saw Chinese soldiers advancing. The Chinese had, rather unexpectedly, taken over the USA. As far as we in the hotel/neighborhood saw, there was no violence.

The dream went on, with a group of polite, pleasant young people patiently trying to indoctrinate us, or at the very least get us used to their way of doing things. We residents weren't exactly cooperative, but we did try to be nice to the young people since they were gentle with us and were, after all, only doing their jobs. Then suddenly they all stopped in their tracks as new orders came to them through the earpieces they were wearing. One of them told us: "According to the latest computer simulations, the American army defeats the Chinese army. The new simulation is more accurate than the previous simulation, so we must accept our loss. We will leave you now." And so they did.

I have no idea what my subconscious mind was trying to communicate last night. The best I can come up with is this: Resistance Is Futile. You Will Be Simulated.
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Prokofiev's Lt. Kijé Suite
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Saturday, March 29th, 2014


5:06 p.m. - Hello, world
I keep meaning to get online and keep up with LJ and Dreamwidth the way I once did, but I keep finding myself thinking of it as too much of a hassle. Not the keeping up, but the actual act of getting online and signing in to things. Why? Well, part of it is that if I do want to use the computer, there's a lot of stuff on my desk to clear away these days. And part of it is--I don't know, fatigue? depression? both?--whatever, it just seems like so much effort to be here. But all you lovely people won't come to my home and whisper your stories in my ear, so maybe I should make it a priority to move those piles of paper to a better place so it doesn't seem like getting online requires so much energy.

As for that fatigue/depression thing, I don't quite know what to do about it. I think that part of it may be that the latest generic version of my anti-seizure medication wasn't giving me an adequate dose, so my brain's been fizzling and not letting me think or feel quite right. That's probably a big part of the problem, so I've been thinking of asking the doctor to check that "Brand Name Medically Necessary" box next time she writes out a prescription. Fortunately, that won't increase my co-pay too much! One of these days I need to find a way to find the energy to get to a neurologist again.

In other news, I'm still here, still going to at least one farmers' market every week, still reading books, still drinking lots of tea. Been reading very, very slowly, but I've managed to finish 32 books so far this year in all that time I've spent offline. Have also gotten a bit better about listening to some of the old podcasts I've downloaded, so that's a good thing. I have eaten Ethiopian meals three times this year so far, and every time I've gone out to that restaurant there's either been snow on the ground or snow in the air. I've been enjoying the snow, waiting for daffodils, admiring the early-blooming pink-flowered cherry trees in our neighborhood, hoping that snow wouldn't hurt the early pink blossoms on those cherry trees, and admiring the resilience of those early-blooming pink-flowered cherry trees. I've been keeping an eye out for the neighborhood fox, occasionally spotting the cute li'l creature in the alley or in the woods. I've spent entirely too much time deciding which kind of tea to buy. I've eaten more than my fair share of spiced almonds. I've been staring at pretty rocks. I've been hoping that you're well.
Current Mood: tired
Current Music: Go Swim, "Call Sign"

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Monday, March 3rd, 2014


10:27 p.m. - For the record
I love snow. I do. Snow is beautiful and the chance to watch it fall and drift still fills me with childlike glee. But I'm also a big fan of crocuses in all their shades of purple and yellow and white, and I enjoyed seeing them spring up around the neighborhood last week. So can somebody please make this snow go away now so we can see all those lovely crocuses again? I'd appreciate that and I believe that 99.99% of my neighbors would as well.

More realistically, tomorrow should be a good day to go out looking for fox tracks in the snow. (A fox was playing in the alley this evening before running to a nearby field.)

At least I was prepared for today's storm, having stocked up on kefir, chocolate, and kim chee. (It's just possible that I have different priorities than most people, storm-preparation-wise.) And I went into DC to pick up my indulgence of the month on Saturday--the new Suzanne Vega CD! There are other new CDs I'd love to have too, but it's still cold and we still have astonishingly high oil bills to pay. (Good thing I still have chocolate.)

I'm tired & a bit headachy, so I should get to bed soon. Here's hoping that the furnace continues to work through the cold. (Even though you all don't know it, every single one of you is glad that you weren't in this house Saturday morning. Trust me on this.)

Good night, all. Please tell spring that we're ready to welcome her with open arms.
Current Mood: sleepy

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Thursday, February 13th, 2014


11:57 a.m. - Hello, World!
Just when it seemed I was getting into the swing of things, posting regularly and all that jazz, my dial-up modem decided that it didn't want to let me online for a few weeks. The modem did begin working again, but since it's done this sort of thing before and I really do like to be able to get online reliably, I probably should get it replaced soon. ([personal profile] hasufin has a modem for me; we just need to get it working with the computer at some point. It'll happen eventually!) After getting back online, I was again back in the mood to not say things, which is why you haven't seen me lately (except for the one or two of you who have).

So anyway, here I am. It's been snowing. You may have heard about it on the news. Forecasts prompt deluge of D.C. haiku! Also, appropriate xkcd is appropriate.

And because tomorrow is one of the great chocolate holidays, here are a few non-snowy links:

"4 things I learned from the worst online dating profile ever" (link via Slacktivist).

Relevant to a few folks on my reading lists: Activist Pickup Lines (in case you haven't already seen the Twitter hashtag (I hadn't)).

Relevant to folks with twisted senses of humor: The Cap'n's Unfortunate Valentine's Cards.

Relevant to me: There's supposedly a farmers' market today. I rather suspect I won't be going--it's raining out there and there are several inches of ice and slush on the roads! Bleh. One of these days I need to find myself a pair of snowboots that fit. [Edit: Market canceled today! Good, now I have no excuse to go outside when I really have no business going outside. This is a day to stay indoors and enjoy some quality chocolate.]

Anyway, how is everybody else doing? Are you staying sufficiently warm/cool/otherwise comfortable out there?
Current Music: Nik Kershaw, "One World"

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Thursday, January 9th, 2014


9:57 p.m. - tuewedthu
Tuesday: It was as bitterly cold as they'd predicted, and I was as inactive as I'd expected. Spent most of the day either reading in the dining room (much warmer than my bedroom) or napping under cozy layers and layers of covers. Had fun looking out the windows watching squirrels chasing each other around and around in an apparent effort to keep themselves warm. It was a pretty pleasant day overall, if uneventful.

Miles walked: Zero, nada, none.

Music of the day: J.S. Bach's Brandenburg concertos numbers 2-6, from I Musici.

~~~~~

Wednesday: Still tired enough to spend much of the day napping, I did think about going for a walk later in the afternoon. After going about thirty feet, I thought again and came back home, thinking that was all the walking I'd do for the day. But later in the evening, a smell reminiscent of improperly burning fuel oil or diesel drew me out of the house to wander around the neighboring streets in an attempt to find out where the smell was coming from. I didn't locate the source then and I was too unhappy about the air quality to continue the search for long, but I determined that at least it wasn't coming from our house. Came home and took a shower to get the smell of that gunk out of my hair. Half-wished that I were still coughing as much as I was last week, because it would have been nice to have expelled that stuff out of my lungs.

Aside from the napping, I spent my time reading or listening to music. Oh, I also got the chance to laugh at the landlord climbing over appliances like a monkey. Good times.

Miles walked: Half of one, maybe less.

Music: Toto's first self-titled album, more than once.

~~~~~

Thursday: Farmers' market day! Bought bread and apples at the market, then spent a good while listening to various conversations, occasionally joining in. Other than that, I did a fair amount of reading and walking. Sometime I should talk about what I was reading, but I'm too tired to go into that right now. Also started to do some daydreaming, but a major character in the daydream told me, "Stop thinking about me!" Kind of bossy for a fictional character, but I wasn't in the mood to argue with him.

Miles walked: Roughly 3.5, which is something of a minor miracle. I don't expect to be doing much of that tomorrow.

Music: Mr. Mister's third album, Go On..., and Christopher Cross's self-titled debut.
Current Mood: thirsty
Current Music: Christopher Cross and Richard Page battling in my head

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Monday, January 6th, 2014


8:37 p.m. - Oh, the weather outside is frightful...
...and we don't even have the full force of the Arctic blast yet. Right now the main problem is wind (and I'll be turning off the computer shortly so nothing gets fried if the power goes out (please please please don't let the power go out tonight!)). As a general rule, I would rather be too cold than too hot; but when you're talking about wind chills below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it's time to accept that Mother Nature wants to kill you. Folks in colder climates may take pride in the fact that they survive anyway, and that's understandable. But that doesn't negate the basic fact that such weather isn't made for human bodies to enjoy.

~~~~~~

A couple of silly linguistic links via the Slacktivist:

OED Birthday Words. Mine is "megastar."

New York Times Dialect Quiz. My three cities: Baltimore, Arlington (Virginia), and Raleigh. Not bad, considering I'm from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. I wonder why DC itself isn't on the list. (Least similar cities: Providence, Detroit, Milwaukee.)

~~~~~~

Miles walked today: Roughly 3.5. I don't expect to go very far in tomorrow's chill.

Today's music: J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. I was going to listen to all six concertos, but got distracted by the desire to go out while the weather was still semi-reasonable. Maybe tomorrow.

Loads of laundry done: Three. And that, my friends, tells you all you need to know about how exciting my day has been.
Current Mood: cold
Current Music: wind singing as it gathers strength
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