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Another one of those awkward realizations today: thirty years ago I was a freshman. In high school. I can't quite believe it. It was an amazing year in many ways, and I had a larger social circle that year than at any time since Ė the core was Barb, Karen, Dave, and Eric; but I was on the fringe of some other groups as well. Between Booth and Python we had no end of material to work with. And the school library with the stained glass window was my haven, absolutely, never mind that Dave's mother worked there.
Reading Marrusí post about it, I sighed; no DragonCon for me this year. Some years Iíve not had a strong interest in going, but this year, did, especially when I saw who was going to be there. There isnít time or money in my budget to do it this year. I need a good dose of surreal fun, where I can just let go of everything ďreal.Ē I know that 2001 was an amazing Con, probably DragonCon will never be the same as I remember that year being, but I would like to have been able to try this year.
Driving to work and listening to an interview with Brian Eno, I again realized that Iím not listening to much music these days. Something is fundamentally wrong if Iím not listening to music. Most of the television we watch is crap; Iíd rather listen to music in the evenings. Ah, but then we have to figure out what kind of music, as his taste is often very different than mine. I miss working in an environment where people listen to music while working Ė never mind. Maybe Iíll start listening to music instead of the NPR podcasts on the way home.
This is the last summer Friday for the year. And the new mattress has arrived. While the idea of an afternoon nap is tempting, I settle for a very brief lie-down (comfy!), then return to the real world to get a few things done. After a brief amount of dithering about what to actually do, I make tremendous progress on the Big Secret Project, finish gathering all the comments from the Peanut Gallery, organize all the initial invitations, and even start a blog. It's surprising what one can do with a few extra hours. Appropriately, this is Labor Day weekend.
Today was a quiet day with a few small victories. Sometimes, just completing the swatch is enough. I am then able to enjoy the sample, imagine the possibilities, allowing myself to be seduced into a half hour or so of daydreaming. Tomorrow is soon enough to determine if either swatch is actually right for the desired project, to be brought back to reality if it isnít. Today I finished the swatches and can bask in that accomplishment, and delude myself into believing that the sweaters will knit up just as quickly, no delays, no frogging, nothing but knit and purl.
We seem to have many of our major discussions about Life and The Future while in the car. I donít really understand the reason for it, but it has happened again and again. I know that weeknights are not the time for serious discussion Ė historically, one or both of us are pressed for time and mental energy on weeknights - but we spend a lot of time on weekends outside the car. I now understand something more of his plan for our future, even if we donít have a definite plan yet for where weíll live or what weíll do.
The first two weeks of September have taken on a new flavor in the last few years, one that There's the memory of Labor Day weekends at DragonCon, filled with magical wonderment. Himself has a birthday, continuing the lovefest, and then right around the next corner is the 11th. Every year there's memorial coverage, and every year the distinction between those who were here and those were not grows larger. The city didn't stay sunk in grimness that held us the first few months but each year it is mired in memorials. I want to move forward, not look back.
The day after Labor Day Ė summerís over, letís return to work! I found it a difficult day. Not the getting up part. And the commute part was relatively painless, as there are still no school busses on the road. But the working part was difficult. I donít really feel interested in the work projects any longer. If I can manage to get seriously absorbed in something, Iím OK, but most of the time Iím casting about for something to do, or trying to write a status report or summarize meeting notes for someone who didnít make it to the meeting.
Driving to work today, the weather certainly tried to conform to the idea that with Labor Day past, the summer is over: it was grey, threatening rain and full of dark portents, DOOOOOOM! Seriously, it seems we are rushing headlong into fall, with hardly any summer this year. The Tim Burton movie 9 starts today (9.09.09) and it appears to be a fairly dark movie, not summer fare at all. But amidst all the darkness, there is light, and a special birthday pizza pie from DelFioreís , for its Gís birthday today Ė wishing him Many Happy Returns of the Day!
I just want to knit and bake this weekend. In order to get at least something done from the To Do list, I bribe myself. While doing laundry and roomba-ing, I spent the evening looking at recipes; I want to dive into the spelt and barley flour I have but nothing is really grabbing me. Iím chugging along on my current sweater, it should easily be done this month (OMFG, did I just jinx it??) so Iím also browsing through patterns and looking at whatís in my stash, trying to line up at least one more definite project. Multitaskingís great.
Today was a good day. I was fully occupied at work, deep in an assignment that came in to being yesterday and which needed to be done today. It was interesting work, I actually enjoyed it, working through the scenario, figuring out how to present it to others so that it made sense but still in a shorthand manner or it would never be done today. Itís not exactly challenging work, but it keeps my eyes, hands and brain occupied , thatís exactly what I need today. I want to move ahead, not always be looking back on this date.
There is something wonderful about the early morning and late night when the rest of the world is so quiet the only sound is the crickets thrumming. No birds, no cars or lawnmowers, no yapping dogs or loud teenagers, just the peaceful pulse of indeterminate chirps. It is rare for it to be so quiet in this neighborhood, but the constant drizzle today kept everyone else inside and at home, so there were several brief periods where all was quiet and I could just enjoy it. I can choose to listen to the thoughts inside my head for few minutes.
Dinner out with a best friend that you haven't seen in months is great. Sitting on the couch, talking girl talk in person with no worries about being overheard on the phone, and munching on chips and dip is great, although it is a bit difficult to say which is more rare these days. Staying up late past your bedtime, continuing the general conversations of life, vacations, dogs, and everything is great. The only way her visit would have been better is if it wasn't a school night and we had polished off a bottle of wine. Maybe next time.
Very strange dreams last night Ė the kind that are wonderful but strange when you in the midst of them, and when you wake up and remember them you think, ďhow strange Ė what is the message?Ē I am not quite sure what my unconscious was trying to work out or resolve, or if it was a message as was my first reaction. All the more startling is that several hours later, I still remember large chunks of it. I canít remember the faces anymore but events, places and the thoughts of Me-In-The-Dream are quite clear.
Looking at recent entries, I realize I've allowed this to devolve into a Dear Diary forum. That is the opposite of what I want, but apparently, I'm in a phase where that's about all I'm capable of. There is lingering dissatisfaction with work Ė or the lack of variety in it, I'm used to juggling many different things Ė and the whole life in limbo situation regarding the question of where to live so it is probably not all that surprising that when I stop to think about the day, I can only bear to think about the small details.
Has the brevity Iíve cultivated in this forum actually made me long winded elsewhere? I donít think so but thereís absolutely no way of knowing. My conversations with Miss H are always somewhat in shorthand these days due to time constraints and sheís the only other one that I actually talk with, other than my parents. For so many days, thereís absolutely nothing of significance to share; yet when there finally is something spectacular, Iím informed that only the headlines are desired. I find it easier to say nothing at all rather than be so restricted from sharing my story.
Immediate versus delayed gratification. I generally go for the delayed, not the immediate variety, but sometimes an intermediate gratification is necessary in order to hold out for the delayed. Thatís why I bribe myself sometimes to do something Iím not particularly motivated to do or for which the delayed gratification is minor but know that I want done. Food was often a reward when I was young, and although I was successful in stopping that pattern for a while, it has crept back in, and with it, so have the unwanted pounds. I must find a way to change that.
I'm trying define the criteria for our potential relocation. Some things on the list are in dynamic tension and finding an acceptable balance is tricky. It needs to be a place with some history, some character; I can't imagine either of us happy in a ten year old Newtown. There should be some artistic community, which generates the ďfunkĒ that we want Ė music, galleries, restaurants, something other than 21st C. mass culture. We want something near water, preferably a large mass, ideally tidal. We don't seem wedded to east, west or north, but the southeast loses for heat/humidity.
Its funny what makes you feel ďgrown up.Ē I've spent more time in malls over the last three weeks than in the last three years, shopping for furniture to make life together in my house more workable and suitable for that as yet unknown future house of our choosing, I felt distinctly adult. Not exactly old, but definitely adult. The sensation was increased by looking at rings. I dislike white diamonds, and I prefer a very fine band, so neither current fashion nor traditional options please me, but I'm fortunate to have found someone who appreciates my nontraditional streak.
I donít think Iíd ever heard the phrase Comfort Station before, but the metalwork sign was perfectly explanatory and so quaint, it really was from a bygone era. As was the park and the town itself. Weíd never been to Southampton before, and although the shops are not quite to my taste, the place itself definitely is. It was quite easy to imagine what it was like fifty years ago before the complete invasion of the New Money Society. But I donít want to live somewhere that is unbearable three months of the year due to an influx of tourists.
This past year has seen a lot of changes, escaping from the Local Expansion Team, taking and losing the Dream Job, and a very serious rethinking of what I want to do with the rest of my life, going from certainty to questioning where we were going to make our home. Iím halfway through my life and it still feels like a work in progress, like Iím still answering the question, ďwhat do you want to be when you grow upĒ and living an unsettled life, albeit in a house, not a dorm. Thank the universe I have found Geoffrey.
I saw the first bit of fall color on a tree today Ė a flush of yellow starting from the bottom and moving upwards. It is the first day of fall, and I am going to hope for a long and bright fall, with a bit of Indian Summer sunshine, if not the high temperatures. There is much to be hopeful about right now, and I am trying to focus on that stuff: small signs of improvement in the economy, more showings of the Gatehouse, new and different prospective projects for me at the office, and serious discussion of non-traditional traditions.
Tomatoes. Big, fat, red, ripe tomatoes. A taste of summer, one that has been absent in the area this year due to blight. My parents joked about meeting us half way, the eastern edge of Ohio, with 1000 pounds of Michigan tomatoes, as a way for us to make our fortune; surely all those New York City chefs would pay a premium for such beauties. Today a box of bakerís dozen or so arrived on my porch. Dinner for next few days will be filled with taste of the end of summer: Pizza with tomato, Manhattan clam chowder, BLT sandwiches.
She scooped me. Yarn Harlot has posted a description of a weekend knitting retreat that sounds remarkably like what I want to do, but without the focus on lace. Ah, damn! I would really like to get this organized, but time is definitely fleeting. Never mind. Iím making progress on my September knitting project, but I donít think Iíll finish it by the 30th. Iím calculating and swatching for the next project, although for the rest of the year, I ought to focus on my three nearly finished projects (Alpaca Grace, Green May and NotJustForBed Jacket) and slam them out.
This was a short week and all I can do is be thankful it is Friday and I have two days to be real. Yes, even with the new excitement of the green light on the clearances, the offer to be second author on an upcoming publication (which still needs to be written), and all that jazz, I'm still not exactly happy about work. There are times when I don't mind it, when it just goes by in a blur, but more often than not, I kind of resent it, that's the only way I've been able to describe it.
I finally finished weeding the house garden. I started in what, March? This project has gone on too long, in part because I had to reweed sections because I wasn't ready with the finishing touch (landscape mat) the first time, in part because it was a wet summer, but mostly because I had a limit of 1 hour of working when I began, worried about my back. I worked a solid two hours today, weeding, digging, dragging, raking and bagging. I ran out of landscape mat. Then I ran out of mulch. Nevermind, next weekend I'll finish it off entirely.
I've probably written about this earlier, but I love the sound of rain. Especially when the rest of the world is quiet, and there is nothing but the sound of water splashing against leaves on the trees, or hitting the occasional branch with a more solid splat. When there's no wind and it is warm enough for the windows to be open I don't need the radio or television on, I will just listen to the sound of the rain. Today was almost perfect in that regard, with a soundtrack of the gentle, almost continuous rainfall that came straight down.
After inventing a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup (it is really tasty, by the way!), I realized this weekend how much I have missed cooking. I am promising myself that I will do more, even if it just means a big batch of something over the weekend. I should cook one thing and bake one thing every weekend Ė it will make me happy in many ways. It shouldnít matter if G brings home a pile of bad muffins; he can eat them, Iíll eat the good stuff! Even a quick pasta dinner during the week should be within my power.
Fish or cut bait, that's what the email said to me. Those weren't her words, that was how they hit me. After dithering in three drafts responses (man, I can't WAIT for retrograde to be over, I'm counting down the minutes at this point) I finally got to the point, admitted I needed a partner. I asked her: she's local, and clearly committed to the bigger picture. What I'm going to do if she declines, I don't know, I really don't think I can do even the small event on my own. What I'm going to do if she accepts?!
What does my soul want? What does it need? Being seen for who I really am, being better understood by those that mean the most to me? That may be part of it: I have long damped down the creative and artistic bits of me, to be taken more seriously in the corporate world. Thereís more to it: ego has driven my career path for the last twenty years and Iím not happy with the result. I donít want to be an administrator just because I excel at it. I want my lifeís work to be something more personally expressive.
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