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West has resurfaced, hurray! And he will be closer, much closer, soon! If heís nearly local, maybe we can see each other more than once every two years. Iím very happy for him, and now that he has no responsibilities, he can really get on with his own life. G and I never made it out to Traverse City to visit, which is unfortunate. This reminds me that we need to make plans for a vacation this year, something, I almost donít care what. It does need to be something more than two days tacked on to a weekend, however.
Imbolc. Ice storm. Travel. What a mix. After hours of being uncertain if we would travel, and if so, how, we finally boarded a plane. Coming into Baltimore, above the clouds at the time of twilight evening rush, I get a glimpse of sunset like Iíve never it seen before, the dark blue below of night, the pink into red into mauve into bruised purple band of the sunset colors across the entire horizon, and the vertical streak of red being cast off from the sun. It was amazing, perhaps the single most beautiful vista Iíve seen from a plane.
Success comes in many forms, in many flavors. Today was a success, not exactly a raging one, but, amazingly, not one snatched from the jaws of defeat. Which seemed quite the probably outcome just a few weeks ago, and days ago. Iím glad that we made the client happy, but was startled to learn that the next phase may be literally right around the corner. I know its not the right business attitude, but I donít want it to start that soon, Iíve got other work to take care of that has been neglected while trying to salvage this project.
Thinking back on how many times Iíve written these hundred word blurbs, and how many times Iíve struggled with what to say, what thoughts I have that are worth sharing, or that I can share without causing damage and disruption, I know there are some topics that have been repeated. The rain post, how much I love the sound of rain gently falling. While weíre on the topic of weather, the ďitís a beautiful day, blue skies, it makes me so happyĒ post has probably been done more than a dozen times. And letís not forget ďI hate being bored.Ē
I ramble through my yarn stash today, looking for odd bits and pieces that might be good for a beginner. Or someone not quite intermediate. Thereís a good bit here, especially in the leftover box, and so it all gets put into the box for Dorchester. I pull out of the stash boxes yarn for a few projects that Iíve identified in my recent organization fit. I want to create project bags, have them ready to go for when I finish the next WIP. Iím hoping to continue to hold to that resolution: finish one, then cast on something new.
I canít quite get the pictures of this winter in Fargo out of my head. In some ways, that much snow is rather fantastic when seen against houses and city streets, in a magical way. Itís beautiful, in a way. Then I think about what it must be like to try to get around, to live, to go to work and school in what are essentially tunnels of snow, as tall as you are, taller. To drive in a narrow ravine, with walls of snow extending up around you. Then I am immediately, deeply horrified by the amount of snow.
Temptation. Frustration. So badÖbut Iím not crying. My mantra is that I donít need it, Iím not buying it, even if it is on sale. That line of reasoning doesnít work so well. I have much better luck with the argument that 10% isnít much of a sale, Iím not really saving much. The items are in my shopping cart, but I donít click the Buy button. Iím tempting fate to take them away, have them purchased by someone else so that I cannot buy them. I watch them in my basket. So close, and yet, so far. . .
Proposal season is upon us at the office and I am none too pleased about it. I have real work on actual, current contracts to do, quite a bit of it actually. But instead I will be spending most of the rest of the month trying to decipher cryptic expressions of intent and desire to fathom what they really want, and can we do it, and if so, how? And how much time and money will it take to do that Ė generally, not specifically, because we havenít a clue about how to specifically do that. Yet. Itís just an idea.
Flowering shrubs? Daffodils pushing up? In London? I cannot quite fathom it. I want these pictures, proof that spring is coming to London, to give me hope that winterís bluster is over. Punxsutawny Phil says spring is right around the corner in the northeast. Even in a week with no snow Ė but very cold temperatures Ė none of this is giving me the confidence to say I believe spring is coming. There is doubt this year. The snow is slowly melting and I now have a clear path from car to front door, but I wince if the forecast mentions snow.
Growing up, I was afraid of the family dentist, who was old and very ďold school,Ē he didnít have a good reputation with anyone in the family. The adults around me made jokes about how barbaric he was, which only made me more reluctant to see him. I had previously found a good, young, dentist I like locally, but she doesnít participate in my new, crappy insurance plan. Today I visited a new dentist, who takes my insurance; he was old school, never introduced himself and spent less than 5 minutes with me. Reminds me of the barbaric family dentist.
The restorative properties of a fabulous dinner after a long day should not be underestimated. I am done with the Norfolk project, well, OK, not entirely done, but essentially done with it. Although the next, transmuted phase of this work may begin very soon, I donít want to contemplate that. But in the meantime, I enjoy a very nice bit of dinner, a lovely glass of wine (or two!), a few ladyfingers and an episode or two of Bones, and the accumulated stress and pains of long day and longer week, begin to dissolve. Iím tired, but feeling human again.
A favorite has gone downhill: a tea shop in a hard-working, historic sea port town now making a go with summer tourism in an area flooded with vacation homes and summer rentals. It is probably one of the only communities that could support a tea house, if managed properly. They replaced smoked salmon with tuna fish salad in their high tea sandwiches, so very wrong. We could run the place, weíve got the perfect combination of skills to do it, and as a tea house, not a restaurant, the hours would be more manageable. But we donít live close enough.
Iím casting on for a new project, breaking my ďfinish one, then start oneĒ rule. Iím very near to finishing my big, heavy, winter snuggly cardigan, but not quite finished. But Iím so motivated to knit a vest, and to participate in this Knit-Along that I canít stop myself. Even the heavy math calculations required to resize the pattern and cables for a different gauge and size didnít dampen my enthusiasm for starting something new tonight. Nor did having to cast on over 200 stitches three times, as I miscalculated the length of the long-tail needed. It must be love.
I donít make a big deal out of Valentineís day. I donít need a fancy dinner out, although I really enjoyed our quiet, Saturday night Valentineís dinner in two years ago, when we were both unemployed. Geoffrey made a fabulous dinner and we really enjoyed it. When the day passed quietly at the office, I didnít think twice about it. I got home and Geoffrey asked if I had gotten the flowers. Uh-oh. An hour later, he still couldnít find out from the big 800-number folks if the flowers had even been delivered. I love him with or without flowers.
There is some mystical interconnection between Mark Helprinís A Winterís Tale, and the idea of building bridges and King Crimsonís The ConstruKction of Light. Maybe theyíre only linked in my head, but every time I hear the song, with its words ďshould it be implausible that a man might supervise, the construction of lightĒ I am thrown back to the book, to the word, to the images of building a bridge from land, from Brooklyn, off to Ö well, wherever it was, the cloud wall, heaven, the third dimension? Seven years, three months after the concert, I finally hear it.
I had a massive migraine today, with me from the moment I woke up today, which gave me a day off work, a holiday of sorts, but not the way I wanted it to happen earlier this week. Meds make me groggy, sleepy, and give me some nasty side affects. After I take the meds, I can kiss the rest of the day goodbye for anything useful or productive. I canít watch a TV or a computer screen for about eight hours after taking the meds Ė or maybe thatís the headache aftermath, I donít know. A wasted day, a pity.
There was sunshine and warm weather today but I didnít see it. I donít mind days when Iím busy, things to do, things to focus on, but I do mind days when Iím jumping from meeting to meeting, constantly trying to shift context. I am acutely aware of the wear and tear on my mental transmission with all the shifting, but I donít really feel like Iím getting anything done or actually being productive. My remedy for days like this is to knit for a few hours in the evening and see the tangible results of the progress Iíve made.
Iíve been struggling in this space for several months. I may well give it up some time in the not too distant future, as it no longer is a release to write, it is a chore to write, most days. I think the writing and the very small bit of reflection that I do manage is good for me, donít get me wrong, but there are days when I donít have the twenty minutes it seems to take to write these hundred words. They become brain dumps of, ďwhat happened yesterday?Ē rather than abstractions of what was important or why.
La, la, la, Imogen is finally done. My beautiful, variegated purple Malabrigo worsted wool that Iíve been holding on to for more than two years, because it was so pretty, and soft, and I had enough to do a big sweater, so I had to find absolutely the right pattern - has finally been knit. I have about 1 skein left over. I need to soak and block the sweater, which is a big, cozy, snuggly, ďI will be warm no matter whatĒ sweater. It isnít the most flattering style on me, but after this winter, I donít really ca
I must be out of practice I told myself after wrestling with the door handle and latch. Nothing was working Ė the replacement part was really not what was needed, but I couldnít figure out why the door latch would catch when the strikeplate was removed, but not when the strikeplate was in position. After nearly an hour of fiddling, as I stood inside the bathroom, looking at the door and frame, I suddenly realized Ė remembered Ė the doors and frames are not entirely square with each other. Put the strikeplate cock-eyed and voila! - the bathroom door latches closed once again.
In the days before a thousand cable channels and DVDs, you could be certain of an afternoon of semi-classic movies showing up some channel or another on a weekend or holiday. Iíve noticed in recent years, that just isnít the case, you have to look hard to find an afternoon of TV movies; not just off first run, not the TMC classics, but the movies I grew up with - perfect for a couch potato afternoon. I guess with Netflix, the internet and Hulu, thereís just not enough of a draw for tv to show those kinds of movies anymore.
Riding on the train into the city today, I really understood why I found it easier to write in this space when I was commuting by train. I had a couple hours a day to just be, essentially alone, doing nothing. If I was tired in the morning I could space out and drift, let my mind wander. That cleared out the mental cobwebs in a big way, and allowed me to process some of the thorny, leftover bits in a non-pressurized environment. Getting up at 7 am on weekends and sitting on the couch isnít quite the same thing.
I bribe myself quite regularly, particularly getting through an onerous task at work. I figure out whatever it is that Iíd rather be doing that I can actual do (because knitting at work is not really an option) and then bribe myself to do that bad task with the promise of that fun (relatively speaking) thing. If thereís no fun thing, just other work to be done, I break the bad task into very small increments and alternate regularly with the not-so-bad work. If thereís only the bad task to be done: I do the worst bits about it first.
I leave the office feeling well content. My first white paper is written and sent in for review. I know it is not ďfinalĒ as there will be many, many changes and revisions requested from The Powers That Be Ė I expect that. But it is done, kind of like that first term paper in college Ė it seems a substantial achievement. And there was more good news, an email notifying me I was selected to participate in an industry brainstorming session in DC next month. I realize they committee probably was not overwhelmed with submissions, but, nevertheless, Iím excited to participate.
I think we all see the writing on the wall. Weíre all rather frustrated by the situation, but Iím not sure that anything will be done to change it Ė or, rather, to improve the performance that is causing the problem. Frankly, Iím not at all sure that improvement is possible, or that it would be worth the investment that would be required, given the limited payback that could be expected. The alternative, starting over from scratch, sounds bad, but may be the only option. And if that is the path we have to take, I want to start down it.
Today is an off day. I donít quite know why, but everything seems to be off, slightly askew, nothing coming to fruition. Not much point in trying to do anything productive, it is likely to go badly. On a day like today, doing laundry is OK, knitting is not. Even trying to rip out a sweater and rewind the yarn was something of a mess. So entertainment it is, as we go tripping to Manhasset and end up with a side trip to Roslyn. Again, nothing quite clicks as I hope, aside from yarn I donít need but couldnít resist.
Tomorrow it will be a month that Grandmaís gone. It has been a little strange, for first time in since Iíve been living here in New York, essentially my adult life, thereís not a grandparent to call on a Sunday. I used to alternate between the grandparents, then I focused a lot on Grandpa B after Grandma B was gone, especially after Rae died. Iím not close to any of the remaining family; I donít really expect that to change, so the process of isolation has begun. Not that I ever had a lot of family ties to begin with.
Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon. I sat in the living room and watched the sunshine still pouring through the windows at 4:30 in the afternoon. It wasnít dark, it wasnít even close to dusk, it was still bright afternoon. It was a thing of beauty, a tangible indication that never mind snow and such, spring is truly on its way. The bleakness of this winter will end. Today, however, we have grey and rain - quite lot of each. I didnít want to get out of bed this morning, I couldnít focus today and could barely stay awake after dinner.
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