Category Archives: Personal Log

Personal Log: 10/30 – 11/5/2017

Ghostbusters @ work

Oh the things I see at work!

Family Affairs:
Linden’s European Trip for WWII History
Attended:
The First Amendment, Fake News and Donald Trump – presented by The Wrap and the Newseum
Really interesting panel discussion about the state of news, news publishing and the first amendment under 45.  The panelist I’m most interested in knowing more about is the Newseum’s COO Gene Policinski, who has a less doom and gloom view about 45’s incendiary comments about the media.  And what a great historian!
Overheard:
Van Jones on City Arts & Lectures on KQED speaking about his book and #LoveArmyBeyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together now on my  wishlist.
Projected menu for the week:
  • Chicken in Tomato Sauce (I’m only using this recipe for the tomato sauce
  • Baked fruit (a work in progress)
  • Pumpkin Energy Balls – without the chocolate chips (or as I call them, “Breakfast Balls”)
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Steamed Veggies (including spiralized beets and zucchini)
  • Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette – a favorite recipe
Reading:
Watching:
Gotham – Season 3 (Netflix) – Completed

The final shot in the Season 3 finale is the first moment we see Bruce Wayne as vigilante Batman.  Edward Nygman becomes the Riddler, and continues his bromance with Penguin.  Various Dr. Hugo Strange experiments hit the streets and die.  Harvey continues to drink.  Jim Gordon finds his equilibrium, but loses at love several more times.  You know, business as usual in Gotham.

These:
Bookish Things:
I don’t believe anyone “must read” anything and wish Book Riot would stop using that phrase.  I’ve read 10/100.

    • 100 Must-Read Novels About Religion
      1. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.*
      2. Certain Women by Madeleine L’Engle
      3. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
      4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood*
      5. The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis
      6. My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk*
      7. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie+
      8. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
      9. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse*
      10. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

*favorites
+One of the most difficult books I’ve ever read.  I’m glad to have read it, just to know what “everyone” else was talking about.

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Personal Log: 10/23/17 – 10/29/2017

https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/22555076_10154941819462694_7912765280970268466_n.jpg?oh=f74fd3cd9c3d79158d07c764156b8e23&oe=5AACC74E

New glasses!

Published: 

Edvard Munch review

From AARP’s August/September 2017 issue:  (the one with the gorgeous cover by Peter Max ) (also petermax.com)
Projected menu for the week:
  • Roasted Eggplant Soup (I’m adapting this recipe to suit my needs)
    • Bonus rant:  If recipes (just the recipe) can’t be easily printed, or saved to Pinterest, the food blogger has failed their audience.  I do not want to wade through personal memories and scads of pictures to get to the recipe.  Put the recipe, with directions, in a useful format at the top.  And then talk about whatever and post pictures.  I probably wound up on your site because of a recipe search, so I want the recipe.  Then you can woo me with other stuff.  Also?  A print feature … not that hard to install with today’s blogging technologies.
  • Slow-Cooker Curried Chicken With Ginger and Yogurt (a favorite recipe)
  • Baked fruit (a work in progress)
  • Pumpkin Energy Balls – without the chocolate chips (or as I call them, “Breakfast Balls”)
  • Mandarin  oranges
Reading:
New to the Stacks:
Watching:
  • Ripper Street (BBC America on Netflix)
    • Just finished this fascinating series about Victorian era Whitechapel, London (home to Jack the Ripper).  The final season neatly tied everything up in a bow.  It was a little flat for me, probably due the lack of Inspector Drake, and the utterly predictable shenanigans of Long Susan and Captain Jackson.  Good to see the deliciously malevolent Inspector Shine.
      • And this odd connection to Jack the Ripper.  Probably more than I really wanted to know.
  • Gotham – Season 3 (Netflix)
    • James Gordon gone rogue?  Noooooo, say it isn’t so.
  • Comrade Detective (Amazon Video)
    • Romanian communist propaganda buddy cop show which imitates the tropes of Western cops shows and Americans in general.  And just misses.
These:
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Personal Log: 2017’s Wondrous Start

Proud Auntie Trying on Jeans

Wow …Apparently publishing weekly was just too much for me.  My ambitions for a close look at my transformation, including recipes and menus, became too big.  At the time I stopped writing I hadn’t realized how intimidating my vision was.  Mostly, I think getting used to the work involved of setting new habits and a new lifestyle took a lot of my energy.  After hours of planning, cooking and prepping meals for the week I didn’t have much left in the tank.

And, of course, I beat myself up for this.  I’m not sure exactly who I thought I was letting down.  My stats show I have a fictitious ravening horde drooling to get their eyeballs on my latest missive all about me, and my journey.

It’s January 2017 and 0130 on a Saturday night.  This is my favorite time.  Everything’s quiet.  I’ve puttered around, run errands, had a nap and feel energetic.  I don’t have nights like this a lot anymore.  Truth be told, I miss it.

So let me catch you up.  I know you’re simply dying to  read the latest stats.  Over nine months and 70 pounds.  BP has remained in the normal range for three months, so the meds can go away.  Before mid-December I was walking 1.5 miles four days a week.  My food is still healthy.

Healthy, but not tracked as tightly as I once did.  I’m trying to figure out if it’s something I should go back to.  This was my first holiday season without binging on comfort foods and grabbing for the cookies, lusting for a really good fudge.

Mom made candy for Christmas.  Fudge, penuche, divinity.  I never got the hang of it.  Don made a mean fudge with the recipe from the back of a marshmallow creme jar.  I can still taste the brown sugar, the walnuts, the buttery chocolate.  Bit I didn’t even seek any out this holiday season.

The first week of January got thrown to the planning wolves.  I was sick the entire weekend and got no meals prepped.  Safeway and its good selection of salads, and prepped fruits and veggies kept me going.  Not what I had in mind at all.  Grateful to know there’s an easy, if expensive, solution for the times I just don’t get it done.  There were several times I ate out as well.  I did okay there too.

Which brings me to my stress level.  Major changes going on at work.   Major life-altering, overwhelming changes.  In mid-December, a co-worker in the Development team left and I was given a lot of his job to do.  Combining our jobs makes complete sense.  But December is the busiest month of the year for fund-raisers and I went from being able to keep up to inundation.  At this writing I’m still working on getting all of December’s work done.

Membership has also moved into Development and I’m now reporting to a VP who treats me like the adult I am.  No longer am I the temp sitting in the corner doing data entry, I’m now truly the Membership Manager with her own place at the grownup table.  I couldn’t be more excited.  Last week was my first 40-hour week in over 17 months.  I’m still a temp, but that’s likely to change down the road.

So holiday season; blood pressure stayed normal and I didn’t gain any weight.  Huge wins.

Adding to the excitement is Grace, my 1997 Honda Civic which replaced Car, my 1995 Honda Civic with the crunched up hood.  Grace drives like a dream and has working heat.  And a clicker.  I love having a clicker.

Before I close, I want to mention a collaborative project I’m working on with my dear friend, Richard Derus (@ExpendableMudge).  He’s decided to make 2017 a year of activism by reading, and reviewing,  around a monthly theme.  And I get to join the fun!  It’s called #ReadingIsResistance.

And so it goes.  Gratitude and positive energy work have brought such enormous changes to me.  How can I not be grateful?

Oh, and the picture up top?  That’s what I look like today.  70 pounds lighter, wearing a brand-new 2X t-shirt which is BAGGY, trying on size 18 jeans.  Life is great!

 

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Personal Log: October 31, 2016

Full of Awesome
Full of Awesome
Pacifica, CA

I don’t look like this anymore. And that amazes me. The spirit is still there, probably even more present as my body changes and I find I can do more things now.

I am, at last count, 50 pounds lighter.  That astounds me to say.  FIFTY pounds.  Me.  I did this.  I asked for a healthier body and I am doing the work required to get one.

There are small events which come as a complete revelation to me.  I often ask the question, “Who am I?”  But maybe the question should be, “Who am I now?”

Love People Cook Tasty Food
Love People
Cook Tasty Food

Last weekend, I drove my poor battered Car to Menlo Park for a Penzeys run.  Their coupons are fabulous, it’s hard to resist.  I’m continuing to explore spices and blends, so my swag included a ground brown mustard seed, Bavarian Style Seasoning and Berbere Seasoning Blend – which I was warned would be extremely spicy since its first ingredient is Cayenne pepper.

My point in bringing up Menlo Park is I did a thing which still astonishes me.  I walked.  Parked a couple of blocks away – not by choice – and walked to Penzeys.  Then, I walked a couple of blocks more and discovered TJs.  And then … then, I walked those blocks back to my car in time to see the community Hallowe’en parade filled with families dressed in costume following the marching band.

I walked past restaurants, two of which had been old haunts when I worked in Menlo Park.  I walked past them.  At no time was I tempted to stop and get something to eat.  It is amazing to me that I willingly walked, and felt really good about it, and didn’t stop at any number of places to have a nice meal.  Because, I don’t treat myself with food any more – most of the time.

And that’s another thing which I’m still trying to get used to.  Emotions.  Or rather, feeling my emotions without compensating with food.  And these past two weeks presented me with ample opportunity to use food.  In all reality, since I’m an addict, every day gives me a choice to use to get through.  And every day, for almost seven months I have chosen not to.

It isn’t easy.  A friend told me when Car and I had our accident, he was surprised to find me eating the food out of my refrigerator, instead of sitting on the floor gnawing on the bones of a pizza. If there was ever a time for comfort, bashing up Car and worrying about saving money for the new one would have been it.  But I didn’t.  And I’m amazed it almost didn’t occur to me.

This journey isn’t easy for other reasons, including I am tired.  Exhausted.  Haven’t had a day to just screw around in for seven months.  I made this choice fully aware it was going to be tough.  And every time I am tempted to just skip prep for a day, I think about my options.  And I remember that even though I would rather curl up with a good book for a long afternoon, if I don’t prep I don’t have anything healthy to eat for the week.  And I’m not about to go that route.  So tired, and often cranky it is.  And the results make me happy.

My body moves better.  I walk faster and keep up with people.  A walk around the block no longer intimidates me.  I’m a long way from a walk sounding like fun, but I do it because I can feel the effects.  The lack of lower back pain nearly overwhelms me.  After years of chronic back pain and bi-weekly visits to the chiropractor, I can now go once a month for a tune-up.  Because I eat healthier and my body is changing.  I like that.  I like it a lot.

Personal Log: October 9 – October 16, 2016

She's done For.
She’s done For.

This week was a doozy.  Back pain kept me home on Tuesday.  Thursday, I was in an accident.  The result of which means it’s now cheaper to find another car than have mine fixed.  (Both drivers are fine, )

This idea has terrified me for a couple of years now.  How would I pay for it?  Where would I find one?  Who could I trust?  I knew it would come.  Car is, after all, a 1995 model with over 226K miles on her.  She is old, and just plain worn out.

She’s also been a workhorse for me since 2000.  I kept praying, “Please don’t break down, I don’t know how to replace you.”  And yet.  Two breakdowns, a couple of fender benders, and the accident.  In ten months, she’s suffered these indignities, as gracefully as I could let her.

The universe told me in no uncertain terms, now was the time to let go.  Panicked and anxious, I took comfort in my friend’s expertise.  This is twice in two weeks he’s literally ridden to my rescue.  I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to have him in my life.

We got my car to a body shop which gave me a heart stopping quote for repair.  And then, “oh by the way, one of the managers here has a Honda Civic he’s selling for [almost half the price of repairs].”  Deep breath.

The next morning, we went back to test-drive the car.  I was in love with this 1997 Honda Civic two-door before I turned the corner in the parking lot.  The real test was on the streets when my friend put it through its paces.  I’m so happy to say New Car passed with flying colors.  Now, all that’s left is the financial details.  I have no choice but to leave it up to the universe, and have faith it has me covered.

My journey with food is becoming one of exploration.  New recipes, new techniques, new ingredients and tools.  Food is no longer about just eating to stuff my feelings down, to survive, and keep me sane.  Food is now nourishment for my body; brilliant tastes, spices, and deep caring.  I have mostly let go of  everything I learned from watching all those cooking shows with Don so many years ago,  My knife skills suck.  My knowledge of spices and what ingredients work together is next to nil.  I no longer care about any of that.

Chopping food has become a quiet time for me to ponder my creative world.  I’m processing a lot of information right now.  Ideas churn in my brain like a mixer gone berserk.  The quiet rote of chopping produce keeps my body busy while my mind has a field day like a bubble machine thinking about what comes next.  How do I get to the end I have in mind?  The chopping keeps me occupied enough that I forget to panic and be anxious about my ideas, my work.

Last week I walked around an unfamiliar neighborhood in search of sustenance and supplies.  This week, after my monthly beauty pampering, I walked with purpose.

I hadn’t intended to walk at all.  Me?  Walk someplace that isn’t next door?  What are you thinking?  Yet, there I was striding along.  Down the parking lot, across the broad street, down half the length of a large strip mall. Walking to the sushi restaurant, where I stationed myself as far away from the sushi boats as possible, because talk about triggers and temptation. I waited for my order. And then I walked back. Backpack slung over my shoulder, chirashi order and water bottle in hand. Walked the same route back to my car, without giving it much thought. As though walking was something I had done every day. I walked without pain, without hesitation, with the understanding that this is now a mode of transportation I can use; easily and comfortably.

I give gratitude for the guardian angels, the co-guardian angels, co-workers and friends who helped me this week.  There is so much to be grateful for in this life I’m creating, so much to be happy about.  The changes are becoming apparent, aside from the weight loss and my jammy pants falling off as I work in the kitchen.  I am mindful of my food, and of my life.  Calmer, more patient, more … me.  The emotional undertones of anxiety still exist, but they are merely undertones now, instead of the prevailing emotional mind-set.  This life is the one I create for myself, and I am grateful for that.

Personal Log: September 27 – October 8, 2016

Spiralizer

Six month stats:  50 pounds lost, down two sizes, blood pressure 132/75.

Absurdly baggy snuck up on me.  In July, when  a wardrobe upgrade came due, I hadn’t realized how big my old clothes were.  I joked the next wardrobe upgrade would have to wait until my clothes were absurdly baggy again.

In general, I wear my clothes until they fall to pieces.    Three months is the shortest time between wardrobe upgrades ever.  Yet, there I was, hitching up my jeans, and looking down in astonishment to see how baggy they were.  I won’t lie and say I don’t love the new edition of me.  In my mind, I still weigh 300 pounds, but in the real world where there are mirrors, I look fabulous!  And I’m so grateful to be able to do the work which got me here.

Truly, it’s about having a healthier body, really not about the weight,   But those two go hand in hand.  Losing weight has made my body healthier, and easier to maneuver.  I can walk longer distances with little to no pain, and I can do it without losing my breath.  Huge!

The past week or so has been filled with creative energy, I thought I was going to jump right out my skin.

San Jose Museum of Art Photography Workshop - October 2016
San Jose Museum of Art Photography Workshop October 2016

In no uncertain terms, the universe told me I needed to go to the San Jose Museum of Art for a photography workshop.  My introverted nature was shocked and appalled that I would be willing to give up three hours of perfectly good alone time on a Saturday afternoon to be in a room with 15 people I didn’t know.

San Jose Museum of Art Emilio Banuelos
San Jose Museum of Art Emilio Banuelos

 

 

The reason I was meant to be there was to meet street photographer/instructor Emilio Banuelos, who treated me as a peer.  It’s the first time I’ve ever felt like my work was taken seriously by someone in a position to offer guidance and encouragement.

Emilio was someone I could nerd out with about photography, and processes.  Specifically, my process.  He stayed after the workshop and offered insight when I explained the project I’m working on, and the purpose behind it.   “Nice,” doesn’t even begin to describe how it felt to be taken seriously.  My greater fortune was finding out that Emilio teaches privately, at a rate I can easily save up for.

Spiralized Apples
Spiralized Apples

Meanwhile, on the food front, I’m committed to prepping and eating seasonally fresh produce.  Which means learning how to change my fixed ideas about the weekly menu.

I am process oriented and making sudden changes drives me right ’round a very short bend.  I am learning to pay attention to the food available, and think about my menu before shopping.  It’s really easy to fall into a routine and stop paying attention.

I managed to botch the curried chicken.  Again.  The recipe gets set aside for a few weeks while I move on to something else.  In the past, I would have given up.  Being willing to simply set it aside and come back to it later is new behavior for me.

As my relationship with food changes, so too does my attitude towards life.  I find myself more willing to try new stuff and am able to accept, from the outset, that there may be disappointment ahead.

This new attitude really showed itself when my car broke down.  It happened as I was driving to meet a friend who, quite literally, rode to my rescue.  Having someone text those three words, “on my way,” was the most comforting thing I’ve ever experienced.  It gave me such a boost.  Which made it easier to spend most of Monday in an unfamiliar neighborhood and take care of myself.

The results of this change were evident when I was able to calmly walk short distances with almost no back pain.  Listen to me.  I walked.  I walked willingly.  And nothing dread happened.

Which brings me to this:  size 22 y’all.  The jeans I bought in July are now too baggy for me.  I don’t like when my pants are baggy anymore.  No really.  Me.  I love my jeans from Torrid, and I love the way they fit.  So I ordered two pair in the next size down.

Speaking of which, exercise.  Finally!  With my wonky knee, it’s been difficult to do any kind of exercise without stressing the knee and the leg.  The resistance bands have arrived!  Me. Actually wanting to exercise.

And all because I changed my relationship with food, and began eating healthier.  I wanted a stronger body, and it’s on the way.

I must remind myself, give myself permission, to be human and make mistakes.  Even though I’ve made the commitment to exercise with my resistance bands six days a week, I know there are going to be times when I just don’t.  This doesn’t make me a bad person, it just makes me a person who every once in a while just can’t with the exercising.  Time was, if I missed a day, I just gave up.  Now I know if I miss a day, I’ll be back.

This is how I reached six months of better eating.  A plan executed one day, one meal, at a time.  The burgers still call my name.  Chocolate wants to know when we’re getting back together.  Today I make the choice not to listen.  I make the choice to eat what’s healthy and waiting for me in my refrigerator.  I did this.  No one else did.  Me.  And I like the results.

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Coming Clean

I’ve been using the excuse of working to not write daily.

“Oh, I’m too tired when I get home to even turn the computer on.”

“My computer is so slow, it’s not worth turning it on during the week.”

Truth is, those are just excuses.  I got stuck on an article for a client, and have been using work, the holidays, etc. as excuses to not just do it.

And it has been bothering me.  A lot.  Especially recently.  I tell people I made the commitment to write every day, but then I got a part-time job I love and stopped.

But I find I keep telling stories.  I’m just not writing them down any more.  Or, writing them here anymore.

I don’t really know what I’m hiding from aside from the fact I am stuck on an approach for this article.  My client has been very understanding.  She’s happy I’m working again with steady money at a place, and with people, I adore.  Truth be told, I feel like I’ve let her down.  I haven’t told her I can’t figure out an approach to the article she wants.

The holidays are always a mess.  They’re a really handy excuse to not do anything except be depressed and feel sorry for myself.  Except that’s not working anymore either.

Thanksgiving was a mess.  A literal mess because while attempting to fix the toilet, it overflowed.  Yuck was all over the floor.  I threw my hands up, threw some towels down and walked away for the night.

Christmas was better somewhat.  New Year’s was its usually noisy self with fireworks all around me.  Living in a Mexican neighborhood, which is also not far from a Vietnamese neighborhood, makes any holiday noisy with fireworks.  Fire crackers go off at all hours of the day.

After the debacle a year ago with the roof leaking, and the ensuing repair, the roof started leaking again.  My home doesn’t feel like home.  There are buckets and towels on the floor, tarps on the roof, and plastic over some of my shelves.  Especially the books.

Things kinda went sideways a little at work.  Just a tiny bit, but I was convinced I was about to lose my job.  How could I be expected to come home and write under any of those circumstances?

Books pile up after I read them, waiting for me to review them.  Once I get caught up, I promise I’ll review each one after I’ve read it.  But it doesn’t happen.

I know this is not unusual behavior for anyone, most especially creative people.  We live in our heads a lot.  We lead with our hearts.  We feel big, and we take everything seriously.  At least I do.  From what I know of other writers, I suspect this is true for them too.

I’ve known for several months that I was at what’s called an inflection point.  In business it means, “a time of significant change in a situation; a turning point.”  I can feel the changes.  Actually see things are going in a different, better direction for me.

This came home to me last Friday when something happened which was incredible to me.  Something I never expected to happen.  Something I wasn’t even looking for.  I had a date.

It went well.  I enjoyed myself very much.  I like to think he did too.  We talked, sharing horrible landlord stories.  Somehow, my writing came up.  And I realized that while I wasn’t exactly lying to him about having made the commitment to write every day, I hadn’t told him that book reviews were mostly what I wrote.  And not every day.

I’ve been very emotional for the past few days.  I suppose it’s normal dating roller coaster riding.  “Will he call me again?”  “Will we really go out again?”  All that sort of stuff.

Let me be clear.  I’ve had relationships in the past.  None of them worked for various reasons.  Mostly because of me seeking fulfillment from them, and attracting men who didn’t deserve my time.  And giving it to them.  Not all of them, mind you.  But most of them.

Since the last one, I’ve spent a great deal of time and effort working on myself.  Becoming comfortable in my own skin, loving me, loving who I am, learning to take care of me.  And, most importantly, finding fulfillment from within.

Last August, I knew I was there because I walked in like the badass I know I am.  Things have been wobbly from time to time, but overall I am pleased with my work and attitude.  And so are people who have the influence to hire me when the time comes.

It was the same way when I met my date.  I was just being me.  Snarky, sarcastic, book in my hand me.  And, things went from flirting to my inviting him to dinner.  To us actually going to dinner and sitting and talking.  It was fun.

But, as with all change, things are unnerving.  I’ve been thinking about my writing more, and thinking about keeping true to myself in the throes of all this change.  The weekend wasn’t easy for me.  I could feel change, and I haven’t been handling it with as much grace and aplomb as I wanted.

Several things have come out of this.  One of which is my writing.  At least two different people have told me that to not write would be false to myself.  It’s my heart and soul.  Aside from loving the job, and the (not enough) steady money, I need to write.  And I keep denying myself that.

I’m not openly declaring a re-commitment.  But I am openly declaring an attempt for every day.  Because, apparently now, more than ever, I really need to write.

A Snake Named Jesus

To tell you my dreams are odd would be an understatement.  They are weird, vivid, brightly Technicolor, and often, violent.  The last week or so they’ve settled for just being odd.

Last night, I had a dream about a snake named Jesus.  Jesus, as in the son of Mary.  Not Jesus, the son of Maria.  And somehow, I was working for the Director.

I got the impression I was working for a movie director, and my job hinged on catching a snake after it had done its bit on film.  Actually, my job hinged on getting over my fear of snakes.  Because being afraid of snakes was going to get me fired.

Jesus was an opalescent color, which scales turned gorgeous rainbow colors.  It was to come out of a pile of food, and I was to catch it and put it in a bin for safe-keeping.  Only, when the time came, I couldn’t find a bin and Jesus escaped me.

The next thing is all of a sudden snakes are coming out of the walls, and people I barely knew in a past long gone were walking the halls of the mall looking to kill snakes with pitchforks and long sticks.

I found myself stopping groups of people and telling them not to kill Jesus.  Other snakes were fair game, but not Jesus.

And then, like the cliché, I woke up.

In waking life news, there’s this.

Personal Log – 20 September 2015

It's Me!
Yup, it’s me. I have missed writing, not gonna lie. My routine is beginning to settle down and I’m still focusing on how to arrange work, chores, etc. so that I can have more energy to write.

I’ve been sleeping a lot.  It’s been oppressively hot and the air quality has triggered allergy headaches, the likes I haven’t seen in twenty years.  Be that as it may, 7Stillwell is never far from my mind.

My dear friend Don has been gone for a year now.  I mention this not as a memorialization of his death but, more simply as a demarcation in time.  A year ago, things were hard.  And I didn’t know what to do to move it them into the tolerable state.

A year ago if someone had said I’d be working part-time at a place I love with people I really like, and vice versa, I probably would have skeptically said, “Can’t get here soon enough.”

I look back over the year and reflect on the events which threatened my sanity (not an over-statement), my physical well-being (broken wrist anyone?), and stand in awe-filled gratitude that things have come out so well.

I will not complain about the gaps still in my life.  What I will do is be grateful for the gaps which have been closed.  A steady paycheck, work I’m extremely good at with people I respect and like at an incredible institution.  For the first time in two years, I had a budget to stretch so I could buy two pairs of shoes on sale.

Just the emotional lift has been awe-inspiring.

The only thing I regret right now is not being able to call Don and hear him say, “Cool,” when I tell him I work at the Computer History Museum.

Dude, I work at a museum!

Personal Log: August 24 – August 30, 2015

Hard Rock Cafe - Ragged Ass Road
Hard Rock Cafe
Banff, Alberta, Canada
2000

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I miss my platinum blonde streak.

Dinner with a friend who often asks very probing questions when trying to understand my thought processes.  It’s something I really appreciate.  This particular evening we fell to talking about data, ways to use it to the advantage of marketing efforts, etc.

As often happens, I will answer his questions with as much thoughtfulness as I can, and then realize I actually sound like I know what I’m talking about.  How did I come to know this stuff, he queried.  In all honesty, it’s observation and intuition of people.  It just seems like common sense to me.  And first hand experience as a season ticket holder at one point in time for the local NHL team and their efforts to keep me engaged as a fan.

My writing has not been a daily practice since I started work.  It is not for lack of things to say or ways to say them.  Nor is it even a lack of will.  Simply, it is a lack of energy.  I refuse to allow this to become habit and have been pondering ways I can adapt to the new schedule and keep my commitment to butt-in-chair every day.

Chuck Wendig, and his blog at terribleminds, keep me engaged with posts about writing.  It no longer scares me to read this is hard work and that I will fall, repeatedly.  And be rejected.  And all those other things that go along with being a writer.  I think there’s a longer post for 7Stillwell based on Chuck’s posts.

It probably also doesn’t hurt that I write because it makes me happy and that I don’t write to make others happy.  Basically, it’s nice to have people read my writing and comment on it in a positive manner, but I really don’t give much of a shit if anyone reads it, or how they feel about it.  I also know that the first deeply insulting, personal attack will make me want to go to my knees, which is also fine.  I’m human, and approbation is what we crave.

Lastly, I watched a reality competition show called The Quest.  It was a Survivor/Amazing Race kinda thing with the twist of having a fantasy story line.  Twelve contestants went to a castle in Austria and bought into the story of saving EverRealm from Verlox the Dark.  The setting was Elizabethan/Renaissance Faire sort of stuff.

The show itself was not much to get excited about.  Which is probably why I kept wondering about what the actors had been told about interacting with the competitors.  And what happened if they broke character or forgot their lines, or dropped their pseudo-British accents?  How did they keep the competitors on task, and guide them to the next scene and stay in character?  I would love to be hearing stories about this kind of behind the scenes stuff.